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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jun 26, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Stephen L. Beasley, Pro Se, Henning, Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; and Mike Dunavant, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


In 1994, a Hamilton County jury convicted the Petitioner, Stephen L. Beasley, of first degree premeditated murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. This Court affirmed the Petitioner’s conviction on appeal. State v. Stephen Lujan Beasley, No. 03C01-9509-CR-00268, 1996 WL 591203, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Knoxville, Oct. 10, 1996), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Apr. 27, 1998). After a somewhat lengthy procedural history, the Petitioner filed a second petition for habeas corpus relief, alleging that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to “instruct trial jury and argue murder in perpetration of felony reckless.” The habeas corpus court summarily dismissed the petition. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that he has been subjected to multiple punishments for the same crime, arguing that the jury violated his constitutional rights when it applied the felonymurder aggravating circumstance to his conviction for first degree premeditated murder. He does not contest his sentence for life in prison but contests the jury’s decision that he not have the possibility of parole. The Petitioner states that because he was convicted of premeditated murder, the jury improperly applied the felony murder aggravator as a basis for imposing his “without parole” sentence. Upon a review of the record in this case, we conclude that the habeas corpus court properly dismissed the petition for habeas corpus relief. Accordingly, the judgment of the habeas corpus court is affirmed.