Brass v. StateAnnotate this Case
After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of conspiracy, kidnapping, and murder charges. Defendant appealed, arguing that the district court committed reversible error during the jury selection phase of trial. After the parties completed briefing on the matter, Defendant died. The district court appointed Defendant’s mother ("Mother") as his personal representative, and she substituted in as a party to the appeal. After the substitution, Mother filed a motion to abate Defendant’s judgment of conviction due to his death. The Supreme Court held (1) a criminal defendant is not entitled to have his judgment of conviction vacated and the prosecution abated when he dies while his appeal from the judgment is pending, but a personal representative may be substituted as the appellant and continue the appeal when justice so requires; and (2) in this case, Mother was entitled to continue Defendant’s appeal, and because of an error during jury selection, Defendant's conviction must be reversed.