Justice denies request to restore Aaron Hernandez conviction

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BOSTON — A justice on Massachusetts‘ highest court has denied prosecutors’ request to reinstate the murder conviction of former New England Patriots player and Bristol-native Aaron Hernandez.

The conviction in the 2013 fatal shooting of Odin Lloyd was voided by a Superior Court judge in May because Hernandez killed himself in prison. Under Massachusetts legal principle, courts typically erase the convictions of defendants who die before their direct appeals can be heard.

Bristol District Attorney Thomas Quinn III in July filed an appeal with a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, saying erasing the conviction would undermine the public’s trust in jury verdicts.

In a brief ruling issued Friday, Justice David Lowy said Quinn’s request is “exercised only in exceptional circumstances.”

Quinn’s office did not immediately return a call for comment Monday.

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