U.S. top court to review constitutionality of lethal injection

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to consider the constitutionality of lethal injections in a case that could affect the way inmates are executed around the country. The high court will hear a challenge from two inmates on death row in Kentucky -- Ralph Baze and Thomas Clyde Bowling Jr. -- who sued the state in 2004, claiming lethal injection amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. Until now, the justices had never agreed to consider the fundamental question of whether the mix of drugs used in Kentucky and elsewhere violates the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Read the story on Law.com:


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Court: TCA


Brian Patrick Dunigan, Timothy L. Bowden, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Jones.

Wendy Lynne Longmire, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kite/Cupp Legends Golf Development Co.


In this case, the plaintiff, Charles Jones, stepped onto a wooden bench while playing a round of golf at Vanderbilt Legends Club of Tennessee (Legends), a golf course owned by the defendant, Kite/Cupp Legends Golf Development Co. (Kite). The bench overturned and Mr. Jones fell sustaining significant injuries. Mr. Jones brought a premises liability suit against the golf course alleging that it was negligent by failing to have secured the bench to the concrete slab on which it was sitting or by failing to have warned players it was not so secured. Kite filed a motion for summary judgment which was granted by the trial court. We find there are genuine issues of material fact, and so we reverse.



Court: TCA


Connie Reguli, Brentwood, Tennessee for the Appellant, Carolyn Suzanne Land.

Michelle M. Benjamin, Winchester, Tennessee for the Appellee, William Bishop Land.


William Bishop Land ("Husband") sued Carolyn Suzanne Land ("Wife") for divorce. The Trial Court entered a Final Decree of Divorce, inter alia, awarding the parties a divorce and finding and holding that it was in the best interests of the parties' minor child ("the Child") for Husband to be the primary residential parent. Wife appeals to this Court claiming that the Trial Court erred in awarding primary residential custody of the Child to Husband. Wife also argues that the Trial Court further erred by considering a report filed by the guardian ad litem and by refusing to consider post-trial facts. We affirm.



Court: TCCA


Vicki M. Carriker, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marcillo C. Anderson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Michelle Parks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Marcillo C. Anderson, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. He argues that counsel was ineffective due to his failure to: (1) adequately communicate with him concerning his case; (2) provide him with discovery materials regarding his case; (3) adequately investigate the case; and (4) adequately present proof that he was acting in self-defense. After review, we affirm the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief.



Court: TCCA


Macario Chism, appellant, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; and David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Macario Chism, appeals the Lauderdale County Circuit Court's dismissal of his 2007 petition for a writ of habeas corpus. In the petition, the petitioner challenged the validity of his multiple 1993 Shelby County convictions, which were the results of guilty pleas and included convictions of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, and aggravated kidnapping. The petition alleged that the petitioner was free on bond on the charge of aggravated burglary when he was arrested for nine of the other offenses, and he claimed that the partial concurrent alignment of the resulting sentences rendered his judgments void. Because the petitioner failed to file a statutorily compliant petition, we affirm the circuit court's dismissal of the petition.



Court: TCCA


Ronald Dennis Crafton, Henning, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Ronald Dennis Crafton, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief. He contends that his judgments for rape are void because the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions and because he was sentenced in absentia. Because the petitioner has failed to assert a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief, the judgment of the habeas corpus court is affirmed.



Court: TCCA


Marty M. McAfee and Vicki M. Carriker, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Dupree.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Patience Branham, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, John Dupree, appeals the trial court's judgment denying any form of alternative sentence. The defendant argues that the trial court erred in failing to allow him to call witnesses during the sentencing hearing and in denying an alternative sentence. After careful review, we conclude that no reversible error occurred during the sentencing hearing and that the denial of alternative sentencing was proper. We affirm the judgment from the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Gregory Thomas Carman, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Milken.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Alanda Horne Dwyer and Michelle L. Kimbril-Parks, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, David Milken, was convicted of first degree felony murder and especially aggravated robbery, a Class A felony. He received concurrent sentences of life and twenty years. On appeal, he contends that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions and that the trial court erred in admitting certain photographs into evidence. We conclude that no error exists, and we affirm the judgments of the trial court.



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