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Posted by: Landry Butler on Jan 30, 2018

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Ann C. Short, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Braylen Bennett.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Charme P. Allen, District Attorney General; and TaKisha Fitzgerald, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WITT

In this interlocutory appeal, the petitioner, Braylen Bennett, appeals the ruling of the post-conviction court denying his request for discovery materials from the State. We conclude that the plain language of both the Post-Conviction Procedure Act and Rule 28 of the Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court impose upon the State an obligation to provide discovery materials to the petitioner as part of the post-conviction proceeding. We further conclude that the State’s obligation cannot be met by requiring the post-conviction petitioner to obtain from his trial counsel those discovery materials disclosed by the State as part of the trial proceeding. Finally, we conclude that, because the post-conviction court’s ruling contains insufficient analysis to support its conclusion that none of the disclosures required by Rule 16 of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure are relevant to the claims presented by the petitioner, the case must be remanded for reconsideration of the petitioner’s request in light of the rulings in this opinion.