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 TNCourts.gov


Chattanooga Business Calendar Sept. 21-27

Tuesday, Sept. 23 Women and Franchising  8:30-10 a.m. TN Small Business Development Center: 100 Cherokee Blvd. Many organizations and programs recognize the value of women in the franchise industry and there are many programs and incentives available to help women succeed. We will discuss this more during this session along with the following topics:  Why ... (click for more)

Investiture Ceremony For Chief Justice Lee Held Today

Dignitaries from across the state gathered in Knoxville  Wednesday  to mark the formal investiture of Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Sharon G. Lee. Gov. Bill Haslam administered the oath of office to Chief Justice Lee, who was surrounded by her family in the Courtroom of the Tennessee Supreme Court within the Historic Post Office in downtown Knoxville. ... (click for more)

EPB Says "Close To A Wash" On City Street Light Billing

EPB President Harold DePriest denied Wednesday that EPB owes the city over $1 million on street light billing. He stated,  “EPB has never said that we owe the city $1.2 million. When all the facts are taken into account, the financial difference is close to a wash.” Mr. DePriest said, "I regret that this complicated issue has been oversimplified in some reports. As we’ve ... (click for more)

New Red Bank Zoning Ordinance Is Ready For Review

The new Red Bank zoning ordinance is ready for review, City Manager Randall Smith said Tuesday night. It can be seen on www.redbanktn.gov and the link to zoning regulations. The new ordinance will replace one that was created 30 years ago.    The plan will encompass both residential and commercial development and is intended to direct ... (click for more)

Why So Much For A Rail Study?

From the things that make you go hmm department. Ok, so the feds are giving us $400k and the city is kicking in another $300k for a total of $700k to do a study on having in town rail service. Why so much for a study? Don't get me wrong, I'm totally down with Chattanooga having some passenger trains running around. I get that. It's awesome. We've needed it for a long time. I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I’m Certainly No Expert

Sometime on Monday night, after I had written a piece on getting swatted with a switch as a kid, I got an email from ESPN Canada asking if I would be a televised guest on “Off the Record,” the most watched daily sports show in Canada. The subject: corporal punishment in America. Are you kidding me? I am hardly an expert. All weekend my world of sports and its excitement was warped ... (click for more)