Aaron Hernandez died an innocent man in the eyes of the law.

In the eyes of the law, Aaron Hernandez died an innocent man when he committed suicide in his Massachusetts prison cell.

According to the Boston Globe, the former New England Patriots tight end’s 2015 conviction for first-degree murder was still in the process of an appeal. A legal principle called “abatement ab initio,” means that the death of Hernandez will revert the case to its status at the beginning, as if no conviction ever happened.

While that won’t stop Hernandez from being seen as guilty in the eyes of the public, it could have an effect on the family of Odin Lloyd — the man Hernandez was convicted of killing in 2013. With the conviction of Hernandez voided, no evidence from the trial can be presented in civil court.

“Unfortunately, in the Odin Lloyd matter, for the family, there won’t be any real closure,” said Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel to the Massachusetts Bar Association. “Aaron Hernandez will go to his death an innocent man.”

Hernandez was serving a life term without the possibility of parole, but was recently found not guilty in a separate 2012 double-homicide in Boston.