State Supreme Court Denies Appeals On Behalf Of Paul Dennis Reid

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Tennessee Supreme Court has held that advocates for convicted serial killer Paul Dennis Reid may not continue appealing his convictions in state court against his wishes, despite claims he is not competent to abandon his appeals.

In 1997, Reid committed three armed robberies in Nashville and Clarksville during which he killed seven people. Reid received seven death sentences, after juries in Nashville and Clarksville convicted him of especially aggravated robbery and premeditated first degree murder.

In 2003, just before his first scheduled execution date, Reid filed a petition for post-conviction relief, seeking a new trial on three of his robbery and murder convictions. Later, he changed his mind about seeking relief and insisted that he had resigned himself to being executed and that he no longer desired to seek new trials. Despite Reid’s decision, his appointed attorneys and his sister filed petitions on his behalf in all of his cases. They asserted that Reid lacked the mental competency to abandon his post-conviction appeals.

The courts in Nashville and Clarksville conducted separate hearings in 2008. Both courts decided that Reid’s sister and his lawyers had failed to prove that Reid was not mentally competent to decide whether to pursue new trials. Thus, they dismissed the petitions seeking post-conviction relief that had been filed on Mr. Reid’s behalf by his sister and his lawyers. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed these decisions in 2011.

In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court affirmed the decisions of the trial courts and the Court of Criminal Appeals. Despite the evidence of Reid’s brain damage and mental health issues, the Court agreed with the lower courts that his sister and attorneys failed to present clear and convincing evidence that he is incompetent to make his own legal decisions. The Court’s opinion also clarifies the standards and procedures to be used to determine mental competency in post-conviction cases.

To read the opinion in Paul Dennis Reid v. State of Tennessee, authored by Justice William C. Koch, Jr., visit the Opinions section of

HTS International To Locate Global Headquarters, Manufacturing In Knox County

HTS International Corporation officials on Thursday announced the advanced manufacturer will invest $21.4 million to establish its global headquarters and new U.S. manufacturing facility in Knox County. HTS International plans to create 200 jobs during the next four years.  “A global company can choose to establish its headquarters anywhere in the world," said Governor Bill ... (click for more)

Influx Of Jobseekers Into Labor Force Pushes Georgia’s Jobless Rate Up In September

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in September, up two-tenths of a percentage point from 4.9 percent in August. The rate in September 2015 was 5.6 percent. “In September, we had the largest increase in our labor force we’ve seen in nearly a quarter of a century,” said State Labor Commissioner ... (click for more)

Top 12 Most Wanted Fugitive Corey Ripple Apprehended Wednesday Night

Robert Corey Ripple was apprehended on Wednesday evening by Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and a Deputy U.S. Marshal. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office was advised by the United States Marshall’s Office at approximately 10:30 p.m. Wednesday that Ripple was seen turning in to an address on Dolly Pond Road. The agencies immediately formed an arrest team and went ... (click for more)

Harry Cooper, 54, Is Bicyclist Hit By Dalton Police Officer Thursday Morning

Dalton Police officer Allexis Rittenhouse  hit  Earnest Harry Cooper, 54, of 216 North Easterling Street in Dalton, who was riding a bicycle in the intersection of Thornton Avenue and Cuyler Street early Thursday morning. The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash. The incident happened at 12:47 a.m . Officer Rittenhouse was traveling northbound ... (click for more)

Four Reforms For The Superintendent Selection Process

Hamilton County’s school district is suffering from a leadership crisis. Over the last decade, HCDE has had four superintendents, three being unable to even fulfill their contracts. This excessively high turnover rate has impeded endeavors to improve student achievement. Without stable and quality leadership, our students are robbed of the superior instruction they ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Little History Lesson

We are told that, as of today, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick holds the dual distinction of being “the most hated man in the NFL” and the wearer of “this year’s No. 1 Most-Purchased NFL jersey.” We also know that early voting just opened in “The Election of the Lesser of Two Evils” and, in Nashville, our educators are struggling with what parts of actual history should ... (click for more)