Group of prosecutors endorses ‘tough on criminals’ Supreme Court justices

News release from Keep Tennessee Courts Fair:
NASHVILLE – Prosecutors from across Tennessee have joined forces to oppose efforts to politicize our courts while noting that our current Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld almost 90 percent of death penalty cases.

Serving as statewide spokesperson is Tom P. Thompson Jr. of the 15th Judicial District, Tennessee’s longest-serving District Attorney General at 37 years – possibly making him the nation’s longest-serving record-holder. He is currently running unopposed for another eight-year term serving Wilson, Smith, Macon, Jackson and Trousdale Counties.

“As a District Attorney, I may not agree with them on every single case but I know this: I understand that all three of these Justices are fair, they are impartial, they protect our rights under our Tennessee and U.S. Constitutions, and these Justices are tough on criminals,” Thompson said. “That is all I need to know. All three of these Justices should be retained.”

Knoxville District Attorney Randy Nichols added, “To call our Supreme Court soft on crime, when they affirm guilt in an overwhelming majority of our cases, shows a total lack of understanding of our criminal justice system.”

John Gill, former U.S. Attorney of Knoxville who served under President Reagan at the recommendation of U.S. Senator Howard Baker, said, “After four decades in the justice system, I believe these Supreme Court justices are fairer and more supportive of law enforcement than any I have experienced. To lose them would be a great blow.”

Thompson has prosecuted tens of thousands of crimes including capital murder during his career.

“I understand that some prosecutors may not agree with every decision made by this court,”
Thompson said. “It is an adversarial system, and these Justices have had to make some tough calls, but the fact is these Justices and this Court have upheld almost 90 percent of death penalty cases. They are not soft on crime.

“These Justices have had outstanding records and deserve to be retained,” Thompson added.

Prosecutors joining Thompson to support retention efforts:

Dan Alsobrooks, District Attorney of Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, and Stewart Counties

Berkeley Bell, District Attorney of Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, and Hawkins Counties

Mike Bottoms, District Attorney of Giles, Lawrence, Maury and Wayne Counties

Garry Brown, District Attorney of Crockett, Gibson and Haywood Counties

John Carney, District Attorney of Montgomery and Robertson Counties

Dave Clark, District Attorney of Anderson County

James Dunn, District Attorney of Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson, and Sevier Counties

John Gill, Former U.S. Attorney of Knoxville who served under President Reagan at the recommendation of U.S. Senator Howard Baker

Torry Johnson, District Attorney of Metro Davidson County

Hansel McCadams, District Attorney of Benton, Carroll, Decatur, Hardin and Henry Counties

Randy Nichols, District Attorney of Knox County

Greeley Wells, Retired District Attorney of Sullivan County

Bill Whitesell, District Attorney of Cannon and Rutherford Counties

Keep Tennessee Courts Fair is the coordinated campaign for the Committee to Retain Connie Clark (Julian Bibb, Treasurer), the Committee to Retain Justice Lee (T. Lee Sherbakoff, Treasurer) and the Friends of Gary Wade (Sam Furrow, Treasurer). This press release is not an endorsement of any Justice by any other Justice and shall not be construed, cited or used by any person or organization as such an endorsement.