Opinion FlashOctober 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):
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Howard H. Vogel
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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