Smith to Step Down; Embattled Judges Get Meeting

The Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission on Friday announced that Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Jerry L. Smith has decided not to seek another term, leading the commission to drop plans to recommend he not be retained in next year’s election. For two other appellate judges facing possible negative recommendations, the commission said the judges could file written responses to its reports and appear at a Jan. 17, 2014, meeting where they would be allowed to speak about their performance. Appeals Court Judge Andy Bennett and Criminal Appeals Court Judge Camille R. McMullen appear on track to press forward with their campaigns, the Tennessean reports. Finally, the panel declined to hear from opponents of the retention election system, including Nashville attorney John Jay Hooker, who said afterward that he may sue the commission for not letting him speak.