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Posted by: Amelia Ferrell Knisely on Apr 15, 2016

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Bryan R. Huffman, Covington, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jacob Andrew Brown.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Dunavant, District Attorney General; and Sean Hord, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WITT

The petitioner, Jacob Brown, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, which petition challenged his 2012 convictions of two counts of first degree murder and the accompanying sentences of life without parole. In this appeal, the petitioner contends that the trial court‘s denial of funds for an expert prior to the transfer hearing ran afoul of his due process rights, that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel, and that the consecutive sentences of life without parole, imposed when the petitioner was a juvenile, violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The petitioner‘s claims of a violation of his due process rights and deprivation of his right to the effective assistance of counsel were previously determined and cannot avail him of post-conviction relief. We conclude that the imposition of a sentence of life without parole in this case did not violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment but that consecutive alignment of the petitioner‘s sentences does not comport with the recent rulings of the United States Supreme Court. Therefore, we remand the case for the entry of corrected judgment forms reflecting concurrent alignment of the sentences.