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TODAY'S OPINIONS
Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database or to obtain a text version of each opinion, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at the TBA's Membership Central.

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You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. 2) Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

TONY V. CARRUTHERS v. JIM WORTHINGTON, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Tony V. Carruthers, Petros, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth T. Ryan and C. Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Tony V. Carruthers, appeals from the trial court's dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief, arguing that the court erred by summarily dismissing the petition and not ordering him to be transported to the courtroom for a hearing on the petition. Because the petitioner has failed to comply with the procedural requirements for filing a petition for habeas corpus relief, and because the petition does not state a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/carrutherst_060208.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHARLES LINCOLN FAULKNER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Leslie S. Hale, Blountville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Charles Lincoln Faulkner.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; Kent Chitwood, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Charles Lincoln Faulkner, was convicted of selling more than 0.5 grams of cocaine within 1000' of school property and delivery of more than 0.5 grams of cocaine within 1000' of school property. The trial court merged the convictions and sentenced the Defendant to twenty years in prison and a fine. On appeal, the Defendant alleges the trial court erred by: (1) failing to dismiss the charges because of a material variance between the presentment and evidence at trial; (2) failing to exclude evidence of prior bad acts; (3) failing to exclude expert testimony; (4) instructing the jury in error; (5) failing to bifurcate the trial; and (6) sentencing the Defendant in violation of the Sixth Amendment. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/faulknerc_060208.pdf


BYRON A. LOOPER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Byron A. Looper, Petros, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; William Gibson, District Attorney General; and David Patterson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Byron A. Looper, was convicted for the murder of Tennessee Senator Tommy Burks and sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, and his conviction and sentence were affirmed by this court. State v. Looper, 118 S.W.3d 386 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2003). Subsequently, he filed a petition for post-conviction relief consisting of approximately 700 pages and raising a large number of claims. Later, he filed amendments to his petition and documents to supplement it, which added an additional 1400 pages. After an evidentiary hearing at which the petitioner represented himself, the post-conviction court determined that he had failed to prove his claims, resulting in this appeal. On appeal, he has raised the following issues: (1) the post- conviction judge was biased against him; (2) trial and appellate counsel were ineffective; (3) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction; (4) his right to counsel at trial was violated; (5) he was prejudiced by post-trial errors, actions, and inactions by the trial court and his trial counsel; (6) the prosecutors committed misconduct during closing arguments; (7) the trial court erred in its instructions to the jury; and (8) a number of trial errors resulted in his trial being unfair. Following our review, we affirm the post-conviction court's denial of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/looperb_060208.pdf


BRADFORD THURMAN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Charles W. Pope, Jr., Athens, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bradford Thurman.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General; and Andrew Freiberg, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

In 2004 the petitioner, Bradford Thurman, was convicted of robbery, a Class C felony, and sentenced to five years in the Department of Correction. No direct appeal was taken from this conviction. In 2005 he filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that his guilty pleas were not voluntarily and intelligently made and that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. After a hearing, the post-conviction court dismissed the petition. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/thurmanb_060208.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Supreme Court Report
Passages
TBA Member Services

Legal News
E-filing pilot project cancelled
The State Administrative Office of the Courts announced today that an e-filing pilot project for which it had asked for bids, will now not go forward. The AOC gave two reasons for the cancellation: the fact that only one proposal was submitted and that "the present budgetary situation for the government of the State of Tennessee including the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Appellate Clerk's Office weighs heavily against going forward with the E-filing Pilot Project at this time."
Download the notice
Supreme Court appoints two to commission
The Tennessee Supreme Court has appointed Margaret M. Huff and Frank Pinchak to serve on the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP) Commission. Huff owns the dispute resolution firm Margaret Huff Mediation in Nashville. Pinchak is with the Chattanooga firm of Burnette, Dobson & Pinchak.

Weiss gets 30 months
Melvyn Weiss, the plaintiffs' lawyer who pioneered a controversial and lucrative area of law suing corporations on behalf of shareholders, was sentenced today in federal court in Los Angeles to 30 months in prison.
Read about it on The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog
Dell honors Pruitt for volunteer work
The Dell Foundation has named UT Law alumna Ann Pruitt as an Individual Volunteer of Distinction for her work with the Legal Aid Society. As a result, the organization received a $2,500 grant from Dell. Pruitt is Dell's legal director for Tennessee and North Carolina.
Read more about Pruitt's work
20 former prosecutors file amicus brief supporting subpoenas
A group of 20 former U.S. attorneys has filed an amicus brief supporting the House of Representatives in its lawsuit seeking to enforce subpoenas in its probe into the firings of nine federal prosecutors.
Link to more information from the ABA Journal.
Inmates in Jackson moved out during power outage
A power outage at the J. Alexander Leech Criminal Justice Complex in Jackson prompted jail officials to remove inmates from one cell block for about seven hours Friday, according to a release from the Madison County Sheriff's Office. The outage began at 5:30 a.m. and was restored at 12:30 p.m., the release said. Inmates were taken to an outdoor recreational area for seven hours and then moved back to their cells. The Jackson Sun reported the story.

Supreme Court Report
'Transporting' money is not money 'laundering'
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that transporting hidden money does not amount to the crime of money laundering, in one of two cases interpreting the statute decided today against the federal government.
The ABA Journal fills you in
Passages
Assistant DA Jackson dies
Stephen D. Jackson, 60, who was an assistant district attorney in the 24th Judicial District, was killed in a car accident Friday morning. Services were to be today at 3 p.m. in Jackson. Burial will be in Chattanooga Memorial Park in Chattanooga on June 4, with a committal service at 3:30 p.m. The family has requested in lieu of flowers that memorial contributions be directed to the Music and Sound Ministry at West Jackson Baptist Church, 580 Oil Well Rd., Jackson, TN 38305.
Read the obituary in the Jackson Sun
TBA Member Services
Program offers savings on auto insurance
See how being a member of the TBA could help you save 8 percent on car insurance. GEICO offers 24-hour sales, service and claims. Call GEICO at (800) 368-2734
or get an online rate quote

 
 
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About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.

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