Tag Archives: row

Supremes Reject Belated ”Intellectually Disabled’ Claim From Death Row Inmate

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
The Tennessee Supreme Court today upheld the lower courts’ decisions that David Keen, an inmate currently on death row, could not reopen his post-conviction proceeding to assert that he was intellectually disabled.
In 1990, David Keen raped and murdered an eight-year-old girl in Shelby County. He pleaded guilty to both offenses, and in 1991, a jury sentenced him to death. Even though state law at the time prohibited executing intellectually disabled persons, Mr. Keen did not assert that he was intellectually disabled. The Tennessee Supreme Court affirmed Mr. Keen’s conviction in 1994 and affirmed his death sentence in 2000. Mr. Keen later filed an unsuccessful petition for post-conviction relief but again did not assert that he was intellectually disabled.
Nineteen years after his original death sentence, Mr. Keen asserted for the first time that he is intellectually disabled. He insisted that the courts should permit him to reopen his post-conviction proceeding to present new evidence that he was intellectually disabled. Both the Criminal Court for Shelby County and the Tennessee Court of Criminal appeals rejected this claim.

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Millions Go from Music Row to Lobbying Washington

The Tennessean reports that Music Row-affiliated companies have spent more than $4 million to lobby Congress during the past three months alone ($12.2 million in the past year as of Sept. 30) as key proposals intended to benefit music makers — artists, songwriters and guitar builders — have run headlong into well-funded opposition.
Music industry campaign contributions have likewise flowed directly into the re-election campaigns of lawmakers backing key bills, with three Tennessee lawmakers emerging as among the top congressional recipients of music business contributions in 2011. (They are Sen. Bob Corker and Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Jim Cooper.)

Gaile Owens, Former Death Row Inmate, Being Released

By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee will free a woman who once sat on the state’s death row for hiring a man to kill her husband.
The state Board of Probation and Parole voted Wednesday to release 58-year-old Gaile Owens, whose death sentence was commuted last year by then Gov. Phil Bredesen.
Owens was convicted in 1986 of hiring a man to kill her husband, Ron. He was beaten to death with a tire iron at their suburban Memphis home.
She initially told police that she had a bad marriage but that there was little physical violence. Shortly thereafter, she told attorneys a different story: claiming her husband had repeatedly raped and denigrated her, cheated on her and threatened to take their two children when she asked for a divorce.
Bredesen said he commuted the sentence because Owens once had a plea deal to avoid the death penalty that fell through when her co-defendant refused to plead guilty.

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