Supreme Court upholds 3-drug lethal injection method

The Supreme Court today upheld the nation's most common method of lethal injection, likely clearing the way for states to resume executions that have been on hold for months. By a vote of 7-2, the justices rejected a challenge to Kentucky's use of the so-called three-drug protocol. Similar methods are used by roughly 36 states, including Tennessee. has more on the court decision:

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Court: TCA


Stephen E. Grauberger, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christina Altice.

Stanley A. Kweller, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, NATS, Inc., Mary Friddell, and Estate of Rosa Mary Humphreys.


Plaintiff sued defendants to collect a judgment against a defunct nonprofit corporation, claiming defendants were the alter egos of the defunct corporation. The trial court declined to add a fourth defendant and granted summary judgment against the plaintiff. Plaintiff appeals both decisions of the trial court. We affirm in part and reverse in part the grant of summary judgment and reverse the decision not to add the fourth defendant.


Court: TCA


Lora Barkenbus Fox, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Metropolitan Government of Nashville-Davidson County.

Gerald E. Martin, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, PDQ Disposal, Inc.


A corporation providing garbage collection services under a contract with Metropolitan Nashville brought suit seeking reimbursement for waste disposal fees allegedly due under the contract. After a trial, the chancellor found in favor of the disposal company and awarded it damages for breach of contract. Metro appeals the court's interpretation of the contract. We affirm.


Court: TCCA


Gabriel Ayuel, Only, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; and Ronald Davis, District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.


Petitioner, Gabrial Ayuel, filed a petition for habeas corpus relief in the Circuit Court of Hickman County, attacking his conviction in the Davidson County Criminal Court for attempted first degree murder. Judgment was entered on the conviction on September 17, 2003, following a jury trial. The habeas court summarily dismissed the petition without a hearing. Petitioner appealed and the State has filed a motion for affirmance by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee. After review of the record, we find that the State's motion should be granted. Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.


Court: TCCA


Johnny L. McGowan, Jr., Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Deshea Dulany, Assistant Attorney General; and William C. Whitesell, Jr., District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Johnny L. McGowan, Jr., appeals from the trial court's dismissal of his petition for error coram nobis 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. We grant the State's motion and affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Martha Yoakum, District Public Defender, and Charles A. Herman, Sr. Assistant Public Defender, Jacksboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry E. Rathbone and Veronda Gean Fleeman.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; and Scarlett E. Ellis, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendants, Larry E. Rathbone and Veronda Gean Fleeman, were convicted of two counts of child rape, Class A felonies, three counts of aggravated sexual battery, Class B felonies, and one count of attempted child rape, a Class B felony. Thereafter, Defendant Rathbone received a total effective sentence of fifty-six years, and Defendant Fleeman received a total effective sentence of forty-six years. On appeal, the following issues are presented for review: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain each of the defendants' convictions; and (2) whether the trial court erred in sentencing the defendants. Following a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we reverse and vacate Defendant Fleeman's convictions for criminal responsibility for child rape, attempted child rape, and aggravated sexual battery as reflected in counts 7 through 11 of the indictment. We affirm Defendant Fleeman's conviction for aggravated sexual battery as reflected in count 12 of the indictment. We affirm Defendant Rathbone's convictions for child rape, attempted child rape, and aggravated sexual battery as reflected in counts 1, 3, 5, and 6 of the indictment. However, we conclude that the trial court failed to merge two convictions for aggravated sexual battery based on alternative theories, and that the trial court did not follow proper procedures in imposing consecutive sentences. We therefore remand this case to the trial court for merger of Defendant Rathbone's convictions for aggravated sexual battery as reflected in counts 2 and 4 of the indictment into his convictions for child rape as reflected in counts 1 and 3 of the indictment, and for a new sentencing hearing regarding consecutive sentencing.


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The TBA Action List tracks bills in the General Assembly that the TBA has a direct interest in. This means it has either initiated the legislation, taken a postiion on the bill or has a policy on the issue. The TBA Watch List is a broader list of bills of interest to the Tennessee legal community.
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Murder convict cleared by DNA speaks Thursday
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About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.

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