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A judge vacated Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction

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Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction was vacated on Tuesday, CBS Boston reported

Hernandez's appellate attorneys were successful in having the conviction vacated under a long-standing legal principle in Massachusetts that holds that when defendants die before their appeal is decided, the conviction is vacated. 

Prosecutors argued that doing so would reward the "conscious, deliberate, and voluntary" act of taking his own life. They said Hernandez might have known that taking his own life would vacate the conviction.

Hernandez's attorneys fought the notion, saying that such claims were founded on the hearsay testimony of an unnamed inmate. 

The judge, Susan Garsh, was inclined to agree with them, saying that the court cannot know why Hernandez chose to end his life." 

The former New England Patriots tight end hanged himself while in prison on April 19. He was serving a life sentence for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. 

His suicide occurred five days after he was acquitted in a separate double murder that took place in 2012. 

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