Opinion Flash

October 6, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 193

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):
00 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
02 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
03 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


ABU-ALI ABDUR'RAHMAN v. PHIL BREDESEN, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Bradley A. MacLean, Nashville, Tennessee, and William P. Redick, Jr.,
Whites Creek, Tennessee, for the appellant, Abu-Ali Abdur'Rahman.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; and Stephanie R. Reevers, Associate Deputy Attorney
General, for the appellees, Phil Bredesen, Quenton White, Ricky Bell,
Virginia Lewis, and Tennessee Department of Correction.

Judge: KOCH

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves a challenge to the Tennessee Department of
Correction's three-drug lethal injection protocol.  A prisoner
awaiting execution filed suit in the Chancery Court for Davidson
County asserting that the procedure used to adopt the protocol was
legally flawed, that the protocol violated various licensing and
regulatory requirements, and that the protocol itself violates the
prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishments in Tenn. Const.
art. I, S 16 and U. S. Const. amend. VIII.  The trial court granted
the State's motion to dismiss the challenges to the adoption of the
protocol and the protocol's compliance with regulatory requirements. 
Following a hearing, the trial court filed a memorandum and order
concluding that the Department's lethal injection protocol does not
result in cruel and unusual punishment.  The prisoner has appealed. 
We affirm the trial court's conclusion that the adoption of the
protocol was consistent with state law and that the protocol's method
of lethal injection does not violate either Tenn. Const. art. I, S 16
or U.S. Const. amend. VIII.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/abdurrahman.wpd

C. DWIGHT GRAHAM, ET AL. v. THE GENERAL SESSIONS COURT OF FRANKLIN
COUNTY, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Joel H. Moseley, Sr., of Nashville, For Appellants C. Dwight Graham
and  Huckabee Bonding Company

Ben P. Lynch and Patrick Lynch of Winchester, For Appellees, The
General Sessions Court of Franklin County, Tennessee, The Honorable
Floyd D. Davis, and The Honorable Mike D. Foster

Judge: CRAWFORD

First Paragraph:

Professional bondsmen sued the general sessions court, the general
sessions judge, and the sheriff, seeking a declaratory judgment that
an order of the general sessions court concerning bonds for some
offenses is invalid as contrary to the statutes of the State of
Tennessee and the Tennessee Constitution. The trial court entered
judgment for the defendants, and plaintiff appeals. We reverse.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/grahamdwightc.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JONATHAN GENE CAMPBELL

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Donald E. Spurrell, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Jonathan Gene Campbell.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry,
Assistant Attorney General; Joe C. Crumley, Jr., District Attorney
General; and Dennis D. Brooks, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

First Paragraph:

The defendant was convicted of driving under the influence ("DUI"),
first offense, and sentenced to eleven months, twenty-nine days in the
county jail, with all but forty-eight hours suspended and the balance
to be served on probation.  In addition, his driver's license was
suspended for one year and he was ordered to pay a fine of $350.  In
his appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court should not have
allowed the jury to compare his signature from the morning of the
arrest with his signature from another day for the purpose of
inferring impairment.  Following our review, we affirm the judgment of
the trial court.

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

WILLIAM KIRK RILEY, PRO SE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

William Kirk Riley, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of  Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

The Petitioner, William Kirk Riley, appeals the trial court's denial
of his petition for habeas corpus relief.  The State has filed a
motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's denial of
relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. 
The Petitioner fails to assert a cognizable claim for which habeas
corpus relief may be granted.  Accordingly, the State's motion is
granted and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHESTER WAYNE WALTERS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

David Neal Brady, District Public Defender, Joe L. Finley, Jr., and
John Byers Nisbett, III, Assistant Public Defenders, for the
appellant, Chester Wayne Walters.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; William Edward Gibson, District Attorney
General; and William M. Locke, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

A White County Criminal Court jury convicted the defendant, Chester
Wayne Walters, of two counts of rape of a child, a Class A felony, and
two counts of aggravated sexual battery, a Class B felony, and the
trial court sentenced him to concurrent sentences of twenty-five years
for each rape conviction and twelve years for each aggravated sexual
battery conviction.  The defendant appeals, claiming that (1) the
evidence is insufficient to support the convictions; (2) the trial
court should have merged the aggravated sexual battery convictions
into the child rape convictions; (3) the trial court improperly
allowed an expert to give hearsay testimony; (4) the trial court erred
by failing to charge any lesser included offenses; (5) the trial court
gave erroneous jury instructions on the mens rea elements of the
crimes; and (6) his sentences are excessive.  We affirm the
defendant's child rape convictions but hold that his convictions for
aggravated sexual battery violate double jeopardy and must be merged
into the child rape convictions.  We also hold that the trial court
improperly enhanced the defendant's sentences in light of Blakely v.
Washington, 542 U.S. ___, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (2004), and we reduce the
defendant's sentences to twenty-three years for each child rape
conviction.  We remand the case for the entry of appropriate judgments
of conviction.

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

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