Supreme Court Opinions

Format: 09/19/2014
Format: 09/19/2014
State of Tennessee v. Andre S. Bland - Concurring/Dissenting
02S01-9603-CR-00032
Authoring Judge: Justice Lyle Reid
Trial Court Judge: Judge Arthur T. Bennett

The issues before the Court and sufficiency of the evidence and comparative propottionality of the sentence of death. I agree with the majority that the evidence is sufficient to support the jury's finding of premeditation, that the evidence is sufficient to support the jury's finding of torture (i.e. the "infliction of severe physical or mental pain upon the victim while he or she remains conscious"), and the aggravating circumstance outweighs the mitigating circumstances. However, I would find that the sentence of death is disproportionate.

 

Shelby County Supreme Court 12/01/97
State of Tennessee v. Andre S. Bland
02S01-9603-CR-00032
Authoring Judge: Justice Frank W. Drowota, III
Trial Court Judge: Judge Arthur T. Bennett

In this capital case, the defendant, Andre S. Bland, was convicted of premeditated first degree murder, attempted aggravated robbery, especially aggravated robbery, and attempted first degree murder.1 In the sentencing hearing, the jury found one aggravating circumstance: “[t]he murder was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel in that it involved torture or serious physical abuse beyond that necessary to produce death.” Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-204(I)(5) (1991 Repl. & 1996 Supp.). Finding that the aggravating circumstance outweighed mitigating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury sentenced the defendant to death by electrocution.

Shelby County Supreme Court 12/01/97
State of Tennessee v. Andre S. Bland - Concurring/Dissenting
02S01-9603-CR-00032
Authoring Judge: Justice Adolpho A. Birch, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Arthur T. Bennett

I concur, in principle, with Justice Reid’s dissent. I would, however, increase the pool of similar cases to include all cases in which a trial judge’s report is required by Supreme Court
Rule 12.1 The majority chose to exclude from the proportionality review pool all cases in which the State did not seek the death penalty and all cases in which no capital sentencing hearing was
held. In my view, this exclusion discourages a more meaningful proportionality analysis.

Jackson County Supreme Court 12/01/97
Tennessee Municipal League vs. Brook Thompson
01S01-9711-CH-00242
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:
The ruling listed above is the Order regarding the "Tiny Towns" legislation. The full opinion will be published at a later date.
Supreme Court 11/25/97
Carl Nelson vs. Harold Eugene Martin & Jack W. Gammon
02S01-9604-CV-00036
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:
Supreme Court 11/24/97
State vs. Yeargan
01S01-9604-CC-00080
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:
Supreme Court 11/24/97
State vs. Yeargan
01S01-9604-CC-00080
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:
Supreme Court 11/24/97
03S01-9512-CC-00133
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:
Sevier County Supreme Court 11/17/97
State vs. Charles A. Pinkham, Jr.
02S01-9611-CR-00096
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:
Supreme Court 11/17/97
Hutton vs. Johnson
01S01-9705-CH-00101
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge: James L. Weatherford
Giles County Supreme Court 11/17/97
State vs. Utley
01S01-9604-CR-00120
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:
Supreme Court 11/17/97
03A01-9704-CV-00111
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:
Hamilton County Supreme Court 11/14/97
Shirley Shelburne v. Frontier Health
E2000-02551-SC-R11-CV
Authoring Judge: Justice Janice M. Holder
Trial Court Judge: Thomas J. Seeley, Jr.
Plaintiff, both individually and as next friend of her minor son, brought suit against Carter County, Frontier Health, and Woodridge Hospital for the wrongful death of her husband. The trial court granted summary judgment to Frontier and Woodridge. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that Frontier and Woodridge could not be held vicariously liable for the acts or omissions of their employee because he was entitled to immunity as a state employee. We granted review to determine whether summary judgment was properly granted in light of our decision in Johnson v. LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, 74 S.W.3d 338 (Tenn. 2002). We hold that Johnson governs the present case and that Frontier and Woodridge are not immune from liability for the acts or omissions of their immune employee. Accordingly, summary judgment was not appropriate.
Carter County Supreme Court 11/12/97