Top court declines to review Rahman death penalty case

The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to review the Tennessee Supreme Court's October 2005 decision upholding the state's lethal injection protocol. In Abdur'Rahman v. Bredesen, the state's highest court rejected the claim of death row prisoner Abu-Ali Abdur'Rahman that lethal injection violated the Eighth Amendment because it constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Today's decision lets the state Supreme Court's ruling stand. Read the Tennessee attorney general's press release on the decision.

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2006/lethalinjection_052206.html

TODAY'S OPINIONS
Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi.

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02 - TN Court of Appeals
06 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
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TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi

Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion. Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

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

SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

THERE WERE NO GRANTS/DENIALS THIS WEEK

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/certlist052206.pdf


IN THE MATTER OF T.S. (A Child Under the Age of Eighteen), M.S., Appellant v. B. H., Appellee

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Shanell M. Schuyler, Johnson City, Tennessee, for appellant.

Ronald D. Tuech, Johnson City, Tennessee, for appellee.

Janie Lindamood, Johnson City, Tennessee, for appellee's Guardian Ad Litem.

Judge: SMITH

The Trial Court terminated the mother's parental rights. The mother has appealed and the determinative issue is whether the clear and convincing evidence established it was in the child'S best interest to terminate the relationship.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/ts052206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE, ex rel, PAUL G. SUMMERS, in his official capacity as the Attorney General and Reporter of Tennessee, and GARY MYERS, in his official capacity as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency v. RICKY WHETSELL

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Kathryn J. Dugger-Edwards, Elizabethton, Tennessee, for appellant.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, and Elizabeth P. McCarter, Senior Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellees.

The State brought an action for removal of defendant's improvements on State property. Defendant defended on the grounds the improvements were on his property and estoppel. The Trial Court granted the State relief. On appeal, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/whetsellr052206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES DEWAYNE BASS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John H. Henderson, District Public Defender; and Gene Honea, Assistant District Public Defender, for the Appellant, James Dewayne Bass.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; and Derek K. Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, James Dewayne Bass, is aggrieved that the Williamson County Circuit Court ordered him to serve his guilty-pleaded, three-year, Department of Correction sentence consecutively to "all outstanding sentences," and he appeals that ruling. We hold that evidence of the defendant's extensive criminal activity and of his reoffending while on probation supports the consecutive sentencing determination, although the record fails to justify consecutive sentencing via a finding of professional criminality. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/bassj052206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TIMMY LEE HILL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Fannie J. Harris, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Timmy Lee Hill.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; C. Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorney General; William Michael McCown, District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

A Marshall County Circuit Court jury found the defendant, Timmy Lee Hill, guilty of possession with intent to sell one-half gram or more of cocaine, a Class B felony, possession with intent to deliver one-half gram or more of cocaine, a Class B felony, and resisting arrest, a Class B misdemeanor. The trial court merged the possession with intent to deliver conviction into the possession with intent to sell conviction and imposed an eighteen-year sentence for the possession conviction and a sixty-day sentence for the evading arrest conviction to be served consecutively as a Range II, multiple offender in confinement. The defendant appeals, contending that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for possession with intent to sell one-half gram or more of cocaine. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/hillt052206.pdf


CHRISTOPHER HODGE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

D. Michael Dunavant, Ripley, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher Hodge.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and Tracey A. Brewer-Walker, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Christopher Hodge, appeals the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that the post-conviction court erred in finding that he received effective assistance of trial counsel. Following our review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/hodgec052206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TERRY R. KLEINBERG

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael W. Patrick. Waverly, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terry K. Kleinberg.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Dan Alsobrooks, District Attorney General; and Lisa C. Donegan, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The appellant, Terry Kleinberg, was indicted for felony reckless endangerment in October of 2003. After a bench trial, the appellant was convicted of the offense and sentenced to a one-year suspended sentence. On appeal, the appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, and the trial court's denial of judicial diversion. Because the evidence is sufficient to support the conviction and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying judicial diversion, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/kleinbergt052206.pdf


KENNETH B. WHITE v. KEVIN MYERS, WARDEN and STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Kenneth B. White, appeals from the trial court's dismissal of his petition seeking habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's dismissal of the petition pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The State's motion is granted. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/whitek052206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT A. WILEY, AKA JABO

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Wayne T. Dewees, Bolivar, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert A. Wiley.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and Elizabeth Rice, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Robert A. Wiley, aka Jabo, was convicted by a McNairy County jury of identity theft, violation of a Motor Vehicle Habitual Offender (MVHO) order, and driving while license cancelled, suspended, or revoked. For these convictions, the Defendant received an effective three-year sentence as a Range I, standard offender. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant argues that: (1) the trial court made several errors in instructing the jury, (2) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for identity theft, and (3) the trial court committed sentencing errors. Finding plain error, double jeopardy principles require us to vacate the Defendant's conviction for driving while license cancelled, suspended, or revoked. The remaining judgments of the trial court are affirmed in all respects.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/wileyr052206.pdf


Use of Funds Generated by Fayette County Adequate Facilities Tax

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-05-16

Opinion Number: 06-089

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/OP89.pdf

Contributions in Plea Agreements

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-05-16

Opinion Number: 06-090

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/OP90.pdf

Newspaper of General Circulation: Hamilton County Herald

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-05-16

Opinion Number: 06-091

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/OP91.pdf

Deputy Sheriffs Disqualified to Serve as Bondsmen in Any District or County

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-05-16

Opinion Number: 06-092

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/OP92.pdf

Political Campaigning by Sheriffs' Employees

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-05-17

Opinion Number: 06-093

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/OP93.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Election 2006
Legislative News

Legal News
Many attorneys still need 2005 CLE hours
The Tennessee Commisison on Continuing Legal Education reports that about 1,400 attorneys have yet to complete their 2005 CLE requirements. Those who don't finish coursework by May 31 face a $200 delinquent compliance fee and the possibility of having their license suspended.

The TBA's TennBarU online CLE program has 30 text-based and more than 100 interactive video courses available 24/7 available to help attorneys meet their CLE requirements.
Learn more or register now
Alley's lawyers ask for DNA tests
Sedley Alley asked a state court on Friday to permit DNA testing on evidence gathered at the scene of the murder that sent him to death row almost 20 years ago. Gov. Phil Bredesen issued a 15-day reprieve just eight hours before Alley was scheduled for execution last Wednesday. Alley asked for the reprieve in hopes of having DNA tests performed on evidence that could help prove him innocent.
Read the story in the Tennessean
Bredesen taps two for ethics commission
A Vanderbilt law professor and a former state Senate minority leader were tapped yesterday as Gov. Phil Bredesen's picks for the new state ethics commission - more than two weeks after the nominations deadline passed. They are Don Hall, who has taught law at Vanderbilt for more than 35 years, specializing in criminal law and criminal procedure, and former state Sen. Tom Garland, a Republican from Greeneville who spent 17 years as Senate minority leader. Learn more about these appointments in the
Tennessean
Right place, right time: Loser guiding law school's growth
The Nashville School of Law has come a long way since Joe Loser became its dean in 1986. "For a long time, people looked down on those who graduated from a night law school, and some of the criticisms were sort of valid," says Harris Gilbert, an attorney with Wyatt Tarrant & Combs who was teaching at the school when Loser became dean. "I think today you're getting a quality product from the Nashville School of Law, which has many of the same programs as top universities," he says in an interview with the Nashville Business Journal.
Read the story
Committee weighs options to finance justice complex
The Fayette County Justice Complex Committee last week considered whether to finance construction of the new facility from the county's fund balance or by issuing bonds. Read about their choices in the
Fayette County Review
Lawyer says blacks kept from top judicial posts
An African-American lawyer in Arkansas has sued that state's Supreme Court, its governor and other officials in federal court, alleging that the state's election system prevents blacks from being elected to top judicial spots, reports the Associated Press.

Experts: Indictment may cripple law firm
The indictment of a leading class-action law firm and two of its partners on charges of paying millions of dollars in kickbacks to clients will affect its large portfolio of ongoing lawsuits and its future prospects, experts said Friday. With more than 500 active shareholder suits pending against public companies, and more than $637 million in settlements last year, New York-based Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman is one of the toughest players in the bare-knuckles world of shareholder litigation. Read more at
TriCities.com
2006-2007 TBA Access to Justice Awards
The Tennessee Bar Association is now accepting nominations for the 2006-2007 Access to Justice Awards. The awards are presented to individuals in three categories: public service attorneys, members of the private bar and law school students who provide outstanding representation to the state's poor. The winners will be announced during the 2007 TBA Leadership Conference and will be featured in the Tennessee Bar Journal.
For information or to apply
Election 2006
Chancellor OKs expediting charter case
After more than four hours of legal arguments involving a dozen lawyers, Knox County Chancellor John Weaver approved a request Friday to fast-track arguments on the validity of the county charter to a May 31 hearing. Whether expediting the case will settle the questions surrounding Knox County's term limits for elected officials in time for the August general election, however, remains to be seen. The details are in the
Knoxville News Sentinel
Legislative News
Legislature simplifies voting restoration for ex-felons
The Tennessee legislature has approved a bill to simplify the process for people who have completed a felony sentence to regain their voting rights. Read more at
The Chattanoogan.com

 
 
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