Juvenile and Children's Law Section

This section provides a forum for lawyers who deal with juvenile and children’s law. It produces CLE courses related to this practice area, distributes a newsletter to section members, and works toward improving juvenile justice and children’s law.

Immediate Past Chair
The Odeneal Firm
PO Box 392
Lawrenceburg, TN 38464
LinkedIn: Stacie Odeneal
(931)762-4012
Chair
Attorney
Po Box 4548
Chattanooga, TN 37405-0548
(423)436-1529
Vice-Chair
Karnes Legal Services
2273 North Highland Avenue Ste. A
Jackson, TN 38305-4909
(731)668-9529
Staff Coordinator
Tennessee Bar Association
221 4th Avenue N. Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37219
(615)383-7421

Lawmakers Intend to Address Juvenile Sentencing Reform

The recent decision to grant clemency to Cyntoia Brown has lawmakers discussing Tennessee’s treatment of juvenile defendants and sentencing reform, The Commercial Appeal reports. Currently, juveniles in the state convicted of first-degree murder must serve a mandatory 51 years behind bars, the same as their adult counterparts. This is in stark contrast to many states which have reduced sentencing for adolescents on similar charges, with almost half doing away with life sentences for juvenile offenders altogether. A bill supported by Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis), would give juveniles sentenced to life in prison a chance at parole after serving 20 years, and require the parole board to consider youth as a factor when making its decision. The measure, as proposed, would not affect those already sentenced. 

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Tennessee Supreme Court Approves Rules Package Amendments

The Tennessee Supreme Court has issued four orders adopting rules amendment that will go into effect on July 1, subject to the green light from the Tennessee General Assembly. The orders include amendments to the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Tennessee Rules of Evidence, the Tennessee Rules of Juvenile Practice and Procedure and the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. The court previously requested comments on the proposed changes, with the comment period ending yesterday.

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