BOSTON (AP) — The highest court in Massachusetts will consider whether the state should scrap a legal principle that erased the murder conviction of Aaron Hernandez after the former New England Patriots player killed himself in prison.

At issue in the case before the Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday is a rule that holds that a defendant who dies before an appeal is heard should no longer be considered guilty in the eyes of the law.

Prosecutors say it's unfair to victims and their families to void the convictions of defendants like Hernandez. They say a defendant's estate should be able to pursue an appeal if they wish or the verdict should stand.

Hernandez's lawyers are urging the court to keep the practice in place.

Hernandez killed himself last year after his acquittal in two other slayings.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

How do you feel about this story?

Choose from the options below:

0
0
0
0
0

More from this section

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.