Lesson 3 - State of Tennessee v. Curtis Lee Majors

Lesson 3 is intended to help students experience a Tennessee Supreme Court proceeding and promote dicussion of the facts heard during this criminal case. This case was originally heard by the Tennessee Supreme Court on June 2, 2010, at Tennessee Boys State. We would like to thank all who participated in this SCALES Project.

Type of Case

This is a Rule 11 appeal by permission from Appellate Court to the Supreme Court.  This case is a criminal case.

Summary of Case

The Davidson County Grand Jury indicted the defendant, Curtis Lee Majors, on one count of
possession with intent to sell or deliver less than 0.5 grams of cocaine within 1000 feet of a school, a Class B felony, and one count of tampering with evidence, a Class C felony. After a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of the lesser included offense of misdemeanor possession of cocaine, a Class A misdemeanor. The jury also convicted the defendant of evidence tampering as charged in Count 2 of the indictment. The trial court sentenced the defendant to fifteen years in the Department of Correction as a Range III, persistent offender.

On appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court decision. The defendant, Curtis Lee Majors, applied for permission to appeal from the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Supreme Court granted the application on October 19, 2009.

Case Materials

Court of Criminal Appeals majority opinion

Court of Criminal Appeals dissenting opinion

Supreme Court opinion

Case summary

Glossary of Legal Terms

Video of Supreme Court oral argument of State of Tennsesee v. Curtis Lee Majors

Group Discussion Topics & Sample Questions