Steve Smith Is A Man Of Honor - And Response

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I urge all of my friends and colleagues to vote for Steve Smith for the office of Hamilton County district public defender. Steve is a man of honor who is well respected throughout the local court system. He is very knowledgeable of the law. He is a hard worker and is a firm believer in and is ready to fight for, the rights guaranteed to all Americans under the Constitution and its amendments, specifically the fourth, fifth and sixth amendments pertaining to individual liberty.

The current public defender leadership is akin to a ship without a rudder. It’s time to repair that rudder and put a new captain at the helm. I urge all the voters of Hamilton County to elect Steve Smith, district public defender, and correct the course of the Public Defender’s office.

I also urge all Tennessee voters to vote to retain our excellent Supreme Court justices who are all up for a retention vote. 

Hank Hill, Attorney at Law
Chattanooga 

* * * 

Under our system of law, we have created courts to resolve disputes.  These disputes can be between ordinary people, between corporations, or even between the government and its citizens.   The courts attempt to resolve these disputes by allowing both sides to present their views and to question the other side.  The court then makes a decision using the “rules” required by our law. 

As is often said, every story has two sides, with the truth often being somewhere in the middle.  When the court system works at its best, each side of the story is presented well, and the flaws of each story are exposed.  When the court, or a jury, can see the “whole picture,” with both the good and the bad points, our system is strengthened.  Indeed, without this ability, our system is worthless.  Good decisions should only be based on good information. 

Nowhere is this principle more true than in our criminal justice system.  The state holds and wields an awesome power.  It has the power to punish, to detain, and even to execute its citizens for violation of the law.  For any such system to have any legitimacy, we must know that the state’s “story” has been tested when it alleges that a person is guilty of a crime.  We must know that the story has been examined; that it has been questioned; and that its flaws, if any, have been revealed. 

The presence of a committed defense lawyer in this system is not just important—it is critical.  Although our culture often derides the defense lawyer, it is only because of dedicated defense lawyers that we can have confidence in our system.  When questions are raised about the state’s story—and then answered, or not, by the state—we can have confidence that our system is working as it should.  The system is not perfect, and mistakes are made.  When things work at their best, though, better decisions are made.

A good and dedicated public defender is especially important to our system.  Because we know that each story often has two sides, our system makes sure that those who cannot afford a voice are given the ability to speak.  Without a dedicated public defender working hard to make sure that these voices are heard, we could never have confidence that our system is making good decisions for the overwhelming number of cases that come before the court.  

In this sense, a dedicated public defender is a true calling.  As a society, and as a community, we must have someone in this office who has passion, dedication, and integrity.  

Steve Smith will be exactly the right person for this important office, and I am supporting his election.  Please consider lending him your support as well on Aug. 7 or during early voting on July 18–Aug. 2.

Tom Greenholtz


Lessons From My Dad, Marty Haynes

Enough is enough. I have heard Marty Haynes’ name drug through the mud for far too long. Let me tell you a few things that I have learned from my father, that now as a family man myself I realize are far more important than anything else.  1. Be Faithful in your Service- My dad learned this trait from my grandparents, Dub and Norma Haynes- Mr. and Mrs. Hixson High 1951, ... (click for more)

TVA Coal Reductions Could Come With High Price Tag

Reliable, low-cost electricity has always been the backbone of the Tennessee Valley economy. Low-cost power from the Tennessee Valley Authority, generated by a balanced mix of coal, natural gas and nuclear, drives the valley’s manufacturing economy and makes the region an attractive destination for business. In the process, Tennessee has developed the fourth largest automotive manufacturing ... (click for more)

Firefighters Stop Fire At Local IHOP Restaurant

Chattanooga firefighters did not have far to go when fire broke out at the IHOP on Highway 153 in Hixson around  9 a.m.  on Friday. Battalion Chief Don Bowman and firefighters with Quint 16 had just enjoyed a nice breakfast there while having a morning staff meeting. When the firefighters returned to their fire truck and were getting ready to drive off, one of the firefighters ... (click for more)

City Councilman Chris Anderson Gearing Up For Election A Year Away

City Councilman Chris Anderson is already gearing up for the next city election, though it is over a year away. In the financial disclosures due Feb. 1, he reported receiving $24,165 for the reporting period from July 16, 2015 to Jan. 16. He spent $4,887 during that period. Councilman Yusuf Hakeem took in $11,110 during the period. Councilman Russell Gilbert reported ... (click for more)

Near-Perfect Red Bank Leads Region 2-A/AA Wrestling

High school wrestling coaches are always looking for perfection and Red Bank's Shane Turner almost got it Friday night in the opening day of the Region 2-A/AA tournament at Hixson Middle School. The Lions advanced all 14 of their wrestlers to Saturday morning's championship semifinal round and lead the 14-team field with 52 points. Hixson advanced 10 to the semis and hold ... (click for more)

CCS Finishes Regular Season With Wins Over Grundy County

The Chattanooga Christian girls and boys basketball teams had a big night Friday as they hosted district rival Grundy County.   The boys team sealed the top seed going into the district 7-AA tournament with a comfortable 73-39 over the visiting Jackets.  The Lady Chargers avoided a 7-AA tournament opener on the road with a 69-65 comeback win over the Lady ... (click for more)