All Content

Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Dec 4, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

David L. Raybin, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joseph Brennan.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Lawrence R. Whitley, District Attorney General; and Lytle Anthony James, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): SMITH

Petitioner, Joseph Brennan, pled guilty to two counts of incest and two counts of attempted rape of a child in Sumner County. As a result, he was sentenced to ten years for each attempted rape conviction and three years for each incest conviction. The trial court ordered the attempted rape convictions to run consecutively with one another but concurrently to the incest convictions, for a total effective sentence of twenty years in the Department of Correction. State v. Joseph Brennan, No. M2009-00895-CCA-R3-CD, 2010 WL 1425540, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Apr. 9, 2010), perm. app. denied, (Tenn. Sept. 23, 2010). On direct appeal, Petitioner challenged the denial of an alternative sentence. Id. This Court affirmed Petitioner’s sentence. Id. Petitioner filed a post-conviction petition in which he alleged that the sentencing judge was impartial. Petitioner also requested a new sentencing hearing and recusal of the trial court. The trial court denied the request for recusal. An amended petition was filed by Petitioner along with a second motion for recusal of the trial court. The trial court denied the motion for recusal and the petition for postconviction relief. Petitioner appeals. After a review of the record and authorities, we determine that the post-conviction judge properly denied recusal and where the record indicates that Petitioner was sentenced by an impartial tribunal, properly denied postconviction relief.