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June 8, 2005

Notable news from Tennessee

Lots of interesting sentencing news coming from Volunteer State:

  • On the Blakely front, as foreshadowed in this post, yesterday Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen signed the state's Blakely fix legislation.  As explained on this helpful page which collects Tennessee Blakely materials, the fix "eliminates presumptive sentencing from Tennessee's sentencing law [replacing] former presumptive sentence provisions ... with a series of guidelines that include enhancement and mitigating factors and a statement of principles and sentencing considerations."  In other words, Tennessee's sentencing provisions have been Booker-ized, as the "new law requires the judge to consider, but not be bound by, these advisory guidelines to arrive at an appropriate sentence which is subject to appellate review."

  • On the death penalty front, this AP story details that, in the state's Supreme Court, a "condemned killer is challenging Tennessee's method of lethal injection, calling it an illogical process in part because it includes a drug forbidden in the euthanasia of animals."  More on recent challenges in other states to lethal injection protocols can be found at posts here and here and here.

  • And speaking of the Tennessee Supreme Court, this story details that Chief Justice Frank Drowota announced earlier this week that he will retire from the state's highest court Sept. 2.  In addition to noting that CJ Drowota was the author of that Court's problematic Gomez decision on Blakely (basics here, problems here), I cannot help but wonder if this foreshadows a summer of chiefly retirements.  I also will boldly predict that we will not be seeing the development of a Tennessee Supreme Court Nomination Blog to rival the work being done here.

June 8, 2005 at 01:06 PM | Permalink


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