New right-leaning Tennessee Supreme Court keeps reversing itself, and criminal defense attorneys are worried

Posted by

Stephen Elliott Nashville Scene :

In 2012, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that a defendant who pleads guilty to a crime can appeal the judgment if exculpatory evidence is discovered later.

Four years later, the same court changed its mind.
What occurred in the intervening four years to necessitate such a pivot by the state’s highest court? Nothing, according to Justice Sharon G. Lee….
But something had changed over the four years separating Wlodarz and Frazier — the people who make up the court. Gov. Bill Haslam appointed three justices to the five-member body during an 18-month period beginning in July 2014. (The last of the three, Roger Page, was not seated on the court until just after oral arguments in the Frazier case, and thus did not participate in the decision.)

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