Supreme Court Rules That A Prosecutor’s File Note Cannot Be The Basis For A New Trial

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Tennessee Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s judgment and ruled that a prosecutor’s handwritten note that was not turned over to the defendant before the trial of his case was not admissible as evidence and, therefore, was insufficient to support the defendant’s petition for a new trial.

In Feb.

1994, a jury found Cyrus Deville Wilson guilty of first degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison. The conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. In Aug. 2009, after obtaining a copy of the prosecutor’s file, Wilson discovered a note handwritten by an assistant prosecutor that expressed her opinion that it was a “good case but for most of the” witnesses were“juveniles who had already lied repeatedly.”  The defendant filed a petition for writ of error coram nobis, a statutory procedure that allows a defendant to seek a new trial based on newly discovered evidence relating to matters that were litigated at the trial if the judge determines the new evidence may have resulted in a different judgment had it been presented at trial. The trial court dismissed the petition because the assistant prosecutor’s note was attorney work product that was not subject to disclosure, but the Court of Criminal Appeals disagreed and ordered a hearing on the petition.

In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Sharon G. Lee, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that the petition for writ of error coram nobis was based on evidence that was attorney work product, which would not have been admissible at the trial of the defendant’s murder case. Since the evidence was inadmissible, it would not have resulted in a different judgment at trial. Therefore, the Court reversed the Court of Criminal Appeals and reinstated the trial court’s judgment denying the petition for writ of error coram nobis.


Association Of Fundraising Professionals Tn. Announces National Philanthropy Day Award Recipients

Tennessee To Leverage State Lands For Tourism In Rural, Distressed Counties

New Unum Vaccine Verification Product Helps Employers Manage Federal Requirements


National Philanthropy Day hosted by the Southeastern Tennessee AFP Chapter will be held on Nov. 3. Organized in the 1980s, National Philanthropy Day, sponsored by First Horizon Bank, Morning ... (click for more)

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, which operates all 56 Tennessee State Parks and 84 state natural areas, announced Tuesday the launch of an economic development initiative ... (click for more)

In anticipation of recent federal vaccination and testing mandates, Unum said it will soon launch the Unum Vaccine Verifier. Officials said the new digital product "will go beyond a software-only ... (click for more)



Business

Association Of Fundraising Professionals Tn. Announces National Philanthropy Day Award Recipients

National Philanthropy Day hosted by the Southeastern Tennessee AFP Chapter will be held on Nov. 3. Organized in the 1980s, National Philanthropy Day, sponsored by First Horizon Bank, Morning Pointe, UTC, and Starkey Printing Company, is a day to recognize and celebrate the societal contributions of philanthropy. National Philanthropy Day will be honoring these recipients for ... (click for more)

Tennessee To Leverage State Lands For Tourism In Rural, Distressed Counties

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, which operates all 56 Tennessee State Parks and 84 state natural areas, announced Tuesday the launch of an economic development initiative to grow tourism in rural, distressed counties in Tennessee by leveraging the economic potential of state lands. The program will capitalize on the attraction of state parks, state ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Traffic Investigator Said Motorist Who Fatally Struck Officer Galinger Was Straddling Center Line, Driving Fast

Traffic investigator Joe Warren told a Criminal Court jury from Nashville on Wednesday that the motorist who struck and killed rookie police officer Nicholas Galinger was straddling the center line of Hamill Road and traveling at an excessive speed. Investigator Warren said the collision was a "roof vault" in which the victim is propelled over the roof of the vehicle. He said ... (click for more)

Some County Commission Members Open To Having More Than 9 Districts

Some County Commission members said Wednesday they are "open" to having more than the current nine districts. Commissioner Warren Mackey said he favors going as high as 15 districts. On the other hand, Commissioner Tim Boyd said expanding the districts "would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars that we don't have. Right now everything is working fine." He noted that adding ... (click for more)

Opinion

Finally, Recycling Honesty Becomes Law

On September 9th, California bipartisan Senate Bill 343 was passed. SB 343 prohibits use of the “chasing arrows” symbol or any other recyclability claim on packaging unless it was approved through a detailed state-led process. “It’s a basic truth-in-advertising concept,” said California State Senator Ben Allen, a Democrat and the bill’s lead sponsor. “We have a lot of people ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The 9/11 Conversation

As we remembered the 9/11 attacks last week, there was a new document that crossed my desk from a dear friend. In 20 years since the tragedy, I have never read nor seen a transcript from United Flight No.93 between emergency operator Lisa Jefferson of GTE and passenger Todd Beamer. Yet after reading the following, there is ample substance the conversation is true. I think it should ... (click for more)