Supreme Court appointment process up for debate

Revisiting the debate on how Tennessee chooses Supreme Court justices may have more momentum this year given the unfolding process for appointing a fifth justice under the current Tennessee Plan. Memphis attorney Greg Grisham tells the Memphis Daily News that, "It is very important that we have qualified judges, and I think we are probably going to see bills introduced this year that may propose modifying the way we select judges in Tennessee." TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur points out, however, that "there have been 76 appointments under The Tennessee Plan, and this is really the first one that has had any material controversy." Read more:

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


Court: TCCA


Jacques B. Bennett, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; and James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Jacques B. Bennett, pled guilty to first degree murder in 1992 and was sentenced to life in prison. He petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that the judgment against him was void because he was not present and not represented by counsel at his sentencing hearing and because the trial court did not follow statutory mandates in sentencing him. The trial court dismissed his petition without a hearing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Jay Norman and Larry H. Hagar, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kenneth D. Hoover a.k.a. Kenneth Johnson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Pamela S. Anderson and Rachel Sobrero, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Kenneth D. Hoover a.k.a. Kenneth Johnson, appeals his convictions and sentence. The defendant was found guilty of second degree murder (Class A felony), reckless endangerment (Class A misdemeanor), and possession of a weapon with the intent to employ it in the commission of a felony (Class E felony). The defendant received an effective sentence of twenty-nine years. On appeal, the defendant alleges that the trial court erred in admitting certain autopsy photographs and erred in imposing an excessive sentence. After review, we affirm the judgments of conviction and sentencing.


Court: TCCA


Terry L. Jordan, Blountville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jerry Lynn Osborne, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Greeley Wells, District Attorney General; and James F. Goodwin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


In May of 2005, the Defendant, Jerry Lynn Osborne, Jr., was indicted for one count of theft under $500, seven counts of identity theft, and seven counts of fraudulent use of a debit card. In July of 2005, the Defendant was indicted for one count of driving under the influence and one count of theft over $1000. He pled guilty to all of the indicted charges and received an effective sentence of four years in the Department of Correction. The Defendant requested an alternative sentence of either probation or community corrections, which the trial court denied. The Defendant now argues that the trial court erred by denying his request for an alternative sentence. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


F. Michie Gibson, Jr. and T. J. Jones, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Andrew Soimis.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; C. Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorney General; William Edward Gibson, District Attorney General; Anthony Craighead, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


Andrew Soimis, the defendant, appeals his conviction for second degree murder (Class A felony) on the sole ground that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction. After review, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient, and we affirm the judgment of conviction.


Court: TCCA


Michael G. Hatmaker, Jacksboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gregory N. York.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; and Scarlett Ellis and Tracy Jenkins, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Gregory N. York, appeals from the suspension of his driver's license for two years as a result of violating the implied consent law. The trial court used the defendant's prior Driving Under the Influence (D.U.I.) convictions that were over ten years old to enhance the suspension from one year to two years. The defendant urges this court to impose the ten-year limitation contained in the D.U.I. statute to the implied consent statute to bar the use of any prior D.U.I. conviction more than ten years old. We decline this opportunity and affirm the judgment from the trial court.


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DA diagnosed with aggressive form of cancer
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Barbara Cooper to head Black Caucus
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Knox Term Limits
Open Meetings 101
In an editorial today, the Knoxville News Sentinel challenges County Commission Chairman Scott Moore's accusation that four commissioners violated the state's open meetings law by gathering in the mayor's office. The paper points out that the members were waiting for a press conference and did not discuss business, and argues this situation is different from private discussions that took place on Jan. 31 while the commission considered replacements for term-limited officials.
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Minority Clerkship Job Fair set
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For more details check the NBA web site

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