Opinion Flash

October 7, 2002
Volume 8 — Number 176

Following this index are summaries of each case, including its name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion.

This Issue (IN THIS ORDER):
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Attorney General (PDF format)
00 New Judicial Ethics Opinion(s)
00 New Formal Ethics Opinion(s) from the Board of Professional Responsibility

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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


HAROLD WAYNE NICHOLS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TSC

Attorneys:

Ardena J. Garth, District Public Defender, and Mary Ann Green,
Assistant Public Defender, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Donald E. Dawson,
Post-Conviction Defender, and Catherine Y. Brockenborough, Assistant
Post-Conviction Defender, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Harold Wayne Nichols.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; Gordon W. Smith, Associate Solicitor General; Gill
Robert Geldreich, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III,
District Attorney General; and C. Leland Davis, C. Caldwell Huckabay,
and Glenn R. Pruden, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

David M. Eldridge and Jeanne L. Wiggins, Knoxville, Tennessee, for
Amicus Curiae, The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
and The Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.                        

Judge: ANDERSON

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Harold Wayne Nichols, filed post-conviction petitions
seeking relief from his conviction for felony murder, his sentence of
death, and his numerous convictions for aggravated rape, first degree
burglary, and larceny upon the basis of ineffective assistance of
counsel, as well as other legal grounds.  After conducting several
evidentiary hearings, the trial court denied relief as to the felony
murder conviction and sentence of death, but granted partial relief by
ordering new sentencing hearings as to the remaining convictions.  The
Court of Criminal Appeals concluded that the trial court erred by
allowing the petitioner to assert his right against self-incrimination
during the post-conviction proceedings, yet upheld the trial court's
judgment in all other respects.

After reviewing the record and applicable authority, we conclude:  (1)
that the petitioner was not denied his right to the effective
assistance of counsel based on the failure to investigate and
challenge his confessions as false; (2) that the petitioner was not
denied his right to the effective assistance of counsel based on the
failure to challenge the legality of his arrest; (3) that the
petitioner was not denied his right to the effective assistance of
counsel at the sentencing phase of his capital trial based on the
failure to present additional mitigating evidence; (4) that the
petitioner was not denied his right to the effective assistance of
counsel at the sentencing phase of his capital trial based on the
failure to object to misconduct by the prosecution; (5) that the
petitioner was not denied his right to the effective assistance of
counsel at the sentencing phase of his capital trial based on the
failure to request mitigating instructions; (6) that the petitioner
was not denied his right to the effective assistance of counsel at the
sentencing phase of his capital trial based on the failure to raise
issues regarding the constitutionality of capital punishment; (7) that
the petitioner was not denied his right to the effective assistance of
counsel at the sentencing phase of his capital trial based on the
failure to object to the discovery of notes prepared by a defense
psychologist on self-incrimination grounds; (8) that the Court of
Criminal Appeals did not err in refusing to remand the case for
additional DNA testing; (9) that the Court of Criminal Appeals erred
by addressing the issue of whether the petitioner had a right against
self-incrimination in this post-conviction proceeding but the error
had no effect on the outcome; and (10) that the trial court's findings
were not clearly erroneous and cumulative error did not require the
reversal of the petitioner's convictions.  Accordingly, we affirm the
Court of Criminal Appeals' judgment.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/nicholshw_opn.wpd

HAROLD WAYNE NICHOLS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TSC

BIRCH CONCURRING AND DISSENTING

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/nicholshw_condis.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TOMMY HENRY

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Joseph F. Harrison, Assistant Public Defender, Blountville, Tennessee,
for the appellant, Tommy Lee Henry.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; P. Robin Dixon, Jr.,
Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney
General; and Joseph Eugene Perrin, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

The Sullivan County Grand Jury charged the Defendant with one count of
possession of a Schedule II controlled substance with intent to sell
or deliver and with two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. 
The Defendant subsequently entered an Alford plea to one count of
possession of a Schedule II controlled substance and to one count of
possession of drug paraphernalia.  Pursuant to the plea agreement, the
trial court sentenced the Defendant to eleven months and twenty-nine
days for each offense and ordered that the sentences run
consecutively.  After a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered
that the Defendant serve his sentence for possession of a Schedule II
controlled substance in the county jail followed by service of his
sentence for possession of drug paraphernalia on supervised probation.
 The Defendant appeals the denial of alternative sentencing with
regard to his sentence for possession of a Schedule II controlled
substance.  Finding no error in the record before us, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/henrytl.wpd

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