BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Chad Isaak’s appeal of his murder convictions in the RJR killings was heard Thursday by the North Dakota Supreme court, even though Isaak himself is dead.
The Supreme Court has to decide two issues: 1) is this case moot, and 2) the issue of abatement in this case.
In other words, should the appeal continue in the lower courts, even though Isaak is dead?
This is the first time North Dakota will decide on a case like this.
During the hearing Thursday afternoon, Issak’s attorney Kiara Kraus-Parr argued that the case is not moot and that the structural errors within the case are the reason for appeal.
Kraus-Parr wishes for the case to proceed in the lower courts.
However, the attorney for the state, Karlei Neufeld, argued the case is moot.
She questioned whether Isaak abandoned and forfeited his right to appeal due to his death.
During the course of both arguments, the justices raised both constitutional and statutory concerns, both with the defendant’s rights and victims’ rights.
All parties who spoke Thursday were in favor of honoring the victims’ rights.
No decision was made Thursday.
The state supreme court will have a decision Monday morning on November 28.