A Massachusetts senator put his name behind a bill that seeks to change the centuries-old legal “rule” that vacated the murder conviction of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez posthumously. State Sen. Richard Ross was co-sponsoring legislation that would nullify the right to the rule, referred to as “abatement ab initio,” in cases where a defendant died by suicide.

The bill, called “An Act Relative to Odin Lloyd,” specifically named the victim for whose 2013 murder Hernandez was serving a life sentence at a Massachusetts maximum-security prison the time of his death. The Associated Press reported Sunday that testimony for the legislation, which was filed by State Rep. Evandro Carvalho, was being heard Monday.

Read: Aaron Hernandez Murder: New Bill Would Prevent Future Convictions From Being Overturned Posthumously

The controversial legal rule was invoked by Hernandez’s legal team after his April suicide because they had not exhausted the appeals process. Judge E. Susan Garsh, who presided over Hernandez’s murder trial, threw out the murder conviction in May after she was “compelled to follow binding precedent.”

“The longstanding rule is…abating the entire prosecuting as if it never happened,” Garsch said.

A statement released by Ross’ office May 31 said the legislation would “bring justice to victims” like Lloyd in instances where a defendant died by suicide.

“Though tragedy struck both families involved in the events of Hernandez’s suicide and conviction, the lack of justice served to Odin Lloyd and his family can never be reversed,” Ross said. “This legislation will protect families in similar circumstances so that justice is maintained regardless of the defendant’s appeal status at the time of his/her suicide.”

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III said in May that the Massachusetts rule was “archaic,” the Associated Press reported. He added, “Despite the tragic ending to Aaron Hernandez's life, he should not reap the legal benefits of an antiquated rule.”

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Hernandez, 27, died by suicide April 19 in his prison cell in at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts. He reportedly used a bed sheet to hang himself from his prison cell window. At the time of his death, he was not considered to be at risk of suicide, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections said.

Hernandez was acquitted just five days before his death of separate homicide charges over the 2012 double murder of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado. Attorney Jose Baez, who represented Hernandez during the double-murder trial, said in an April statement that there “were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible.”

Baez told ESPN in an interview published the day before Hernandez's suicide that his legal team was looking forward to appealing the Lloyd murder conviction.

Aaron Hernandez Former NFL New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez appears in court for a motion hearing in Attleborough, Massachusetts, Aug. 30, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/Dominick Reuter