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October 24, 2016
Are Tennessee drug sentences appropriate to the crimes?

A recent article questioned the appropriateness of penalties for drug possession for personal use. The question affects more people than readers might realize: An American is arrested every 25 seconds for possession of personal use drugs. Although officials may claim that their enforcement efforts target those who sell drugs, those who possess drugs are arrested at […]

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October 10, 2016
Tennessee appeal results in a new criminal trial for the accused

A former Tennessee sheriff’s post-conviction legal efforts have paid off: The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals recently ordered a new trial. The former sheriff was arrested for allegedly trying to shoot his wife. He was formally charged with attempted voluntary manslaughter, and the jury in his criminal trial found him guilty in February 2013. The […]

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September 26, 2016
Even a conviction based on forensic evidence might be appealed

For many, the term “forensic evidence” conjures up an association with science, or a process that has been verified by the scientific method. Yet it would be a mistake to characterize all types of forensic evidence as 100 percent accurate. Fingerprint identification, hair or fiber analysis, and DNA samples are all examples of evidence that […]

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September 13, 2016
Criminal trial put on hold; awaiting decision from appeals court

Evidence — or that lack of access to it — can be detrimental to a criminal defense. In a local example, an appeal filed with the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals challenges the credibility of the witness whose testimony could make or break the case for aggravated rape against a former University of Tennessee linebacker […]

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August 31, 2016
An overzealous prosecutor’s tactics might produce an unfair trial

Although a strong work ethic is often considered a virtue, should prosecutors approach their jobs that way? As a law firm that has represented many criminal defendants, we have observed aggressive prosecutorial tactics in the courtroom. True, it is a prosecutor’s job to seek a conviction, but there is a difference between doing one’s job […]

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August 15, 2016
Could a traffic stop without probable cause support an appeal?

If you were arrested for a criminal offense, have you consulted with an attorney about the circumstances leading up to that arrest? Even seemingly impartial police tactics, such as traffic stops, may have vulnerability to a legal challenge. Specifically, a recent article questions whether traffic stops are racially biased. As background, a police officer generally […]

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August 2, 2016
Grounds for a state appeal may extend beyond the criminal trial

Can someone charged with a violent crime get a fair appeal? Procedural due process should be afforded to all criminal defendants. Yet a Tennessee woman’s predicament illustrates the challenges in bringing such an appeal. The woman was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, relating to the deaths of her infant twins. That conviction was […]

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July 18, 2016
Opportunities for legal strategy exist even after the verdict

In the criminal justice system, a trial verdict is not necessarily the final word. Indeed, there are a variety of post-conviction proceedings that might be of benefit to a criminal defendant. As background, there are instances where a court might schedule a separate sentencing hearing instead of deciding upon a sentence immediately after the defendant […]

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July 5, 2016
Police errors might violate procedural due process

The efforts of the brave men and women who serve in law enforcement deserve to be commended. They are often called upon for service that exceeds the normal call of duty. At the same time, they are only human, and may make mistakes. As a law firm that helps clients with post-conviction relief and appeals, […]

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June 20, 2016
Can a procedural mistake form the basis of an appeal?

Regardless of the criminal charge, an accused has a right to a fair trial. This principle of the American justice system is aptly illustrated in a recent example. In a highly controversial and pending child pornography case, the defendant was able to obtain a procedural victory. Specifically, investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation used […]

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ATTORNEY PATRICK MCNALLY
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