Tag Archives: dewayne

Supremes to Rule on Rape Victim as Accomplice in Crime

Under Tennessee law, a victim of statutory rape can be considered an accomplice in the crime against her, reports the Tennessean. That could change soon.
The state Supreme Court has agreed to take on a case involving a 14-year-old girl from Arkansas and a Memphis man, which could lead it to dust off and possibly overturn the arcane interpretation of the law. The rule, which has gone unchallenged for more than a century, emerged from an 1895 incest case in which a Tennessee court found no “evidence of force” in a case involving an uncle having sex with his niece.
The high court recently agreed to hear the case of Dewayne Collier, whom a Shelby County jury convicted in 2010 of aggravated statutory rape. Collier, through his attorneys, has maintained his innocence from the outset.
The court ruled, however, that both could be convicted of incest. To have such an interpretation on the books in the 21st century is an outrage, some observers say.
“We cannot expect victims to feel safe enough to break free and seek relief when they face the prospect of being victimized again by our legal system,” said Cathy Gurley, executive director of You Have the Power, a victims’ rights organization.
The rule, she said, “undermines society’s obligation to protect children.”
In its final appeal stage, the high court expressed keen interest in the thorny questions raised by Collier’s case: Can the victim of a sexual offense be a criminal accomplice? If so, do prosecutors need supporting evidence beyond an accomplice’s testimony to convict a defendant?
Both questions, according to legal experts, have far-reaching implications for how sex crimes are prosecuted in Tennessee.

Two Former Senators Among 11 Applying for ET Court of Appeals

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
Nashville, Tenn. – Eleven attorneys have applied to fill the vacancy on the Tennessee Court of Appeals Eastern Section, which serves 13 judicial districts in east Tennessee. The vacancy was created by the retirement of Court of Appeals Judge Herschel P. Franks on December 31, 2012.
The Judicial Nominating Commission will hold a public meeting to interview the following candidates:
Brian K. Addington
Worker’s Compensation Specialist
State of Tennessee
Kingsport, Tennessee
Esther L. Bell
Chief Executive Office
Global Intellectual Property Asset Management, PLLC
Knoxville, Tennessee
Jerri S. Bryant
10th Judicial District
Athens, Tennessee
Jesse Dewayne Bunch (former state senator)
Circuit Court Magistrate
10th Judicial District
Cleveland, Tennessee
Michael A. Faulk
Solo Practice/State Senator
The Faulk Law Office
Church Hill, Tennessee
Thomas Radcliffe Frierson
3rd Judicial District
Morristown, Tennessee
David Edward Long
Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC
Knoxville, Tennessee
Jimmie Alice Carpenter Miller
Hunter, Smith & Davis, LLP
Kingsport, Tennessee
Hugh J. Moore, Jr.
Chambliss Bahner & Stophel, PC
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Sarah Yarber Sheppeard
Sheppeard and Mynatt, PLC
Knoxville, Tennessee
Daniel P. Street
County Attorney
Sullivan County
Blountville, Tennessee
The application for each candidate is available at www.tncourts.gov.
The public hearing will be held on Friday, Nov. 16 at 9 a.m., EST. at the Sheraton Read House Hotel, 827 Broad Street, Chattanooga. During the public hearing, attorneys and members of the public may express their approval or objections to the candidates.
Following the public hearing, the commission will interview each applicant before recommending three candidates to the governor. Members of the public are invited to attend both the public hearing and the interviews.