JOSEPH BRENNAN, ET AL. v. BOARD OF PAROLE FOR THE STATE OF TENNESSEE - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Jan 10, 2017

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andre´e S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; and Jennifer L. Brenner, Senior Counsel, for the appellant, Tennessee Board of Parole.

Attorneys 2:

J. Alex Little (on appeal) and Mark C. Scruggs (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Joseph Brennan.

Judge(s): LEE

The Tennessee Board of Parole denied parole to a prisoner who was serving a twenty-year sentence for convictions of attempted rape of a child. The Board determined that the prisoner’s release from custody would depreciate the seriousness of the crime for which he was convicted or promote disrespect for the law. The prisoner filed a petition of certiorari challenging the Board’s decision. The trial court affirmed the Board’s decision, and the prisoner appealed. The Court of Appeals did not review the issues raised on appeal. Instead, it calculated the date the prisoner should have been considered for parole and concluded that the Board acted arbitrarily by conducting a parole hearing prematurely. The Court of Appeals vacated and remanded with instructions for the Board to give the prisoner an immediate parole hearing. We hold that the Court of Appeals had no authority to calculate the date the prisoner could be considered for parole and did so incorrectly. The Tennessee Department of Correction has the statutory authority to determine the date a prisoner may be considered for parole by the Board. On review, we affirm the trial court’s decision.

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