STATE OF TENNESSEE v. STEVE DUCLAIR - Articles

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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Apr 24, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Richard A. Spivey, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steve Duclair.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Barry Staubus, District Attorney General; and Joseph Perrin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): SMITH

count of selling one-half gram or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and one count of delivering one-half gram or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school. After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of two counts of selling one-half gram or more of cocaine, two counts of delivering one-half gram or more of cocaine, one count of selling one-half gram or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school, and one count of delivering one-half gram or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school. The trial court merged the convictions for the sale of cocaine with the convictions for the delivery of cocaine. Appellant was sentenced to an effective sentence of fifteen years at 100 percent. After the denial of a motion for new trial, Appellant presents the following issues for our review on appeal: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; (2) whether the trial court committed error while dismissing the alternate juror at the conclusion of the trial; (3) whether the trial court committed error by asking Appellant where he was from during voir dire; (4) whether the trial court properly instructed the jury; (5) whether Appellant’s sentences constitute cruel and unusual punishment; (6) whether the assistant district attorney committed prosecutorial misconduct; and (7) whether the Drug-Free School Zone Act is unconstitutional. After a review of the record and the applicable authorities, we determine that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; the trial court properly instructed the jury; the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Appellant; the Drug-Free School Zone Act is not unconstitutional; the trial court did not violate Appellant’s right from self-incrimination during voir dire; the trial court did not err in dismissing the alternate juror; and the prosecutor did not commit misconduct during closing argument. Consequently, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

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