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June 2014 Archives

Limitation on Closing Argument Affirmed

In a criminal trial, closing argument is the opportunity for each side to summarize their theories of the case. There is flexibility for each side to present a theory. But the arguments are still limited to the facts in evidence and reasonable inferences from those facts. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Krasovic, M2013-00607-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-26-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals upheld a trial court's limitation on the defense description of events leading to convictions for vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment.

Limitation on Closing Argument Affirmed

In a criminal trial, closing argument is the opportunity for each side to summarize their theories of the case. There is flexibility for each side to present a theory. But the arguments are still limited to the facts in evidence and reasonable inferences from those facts. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Krasovic, M2013-00607-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-26-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals upheld a trial court's limitation on the defense description of events leading to convictions for vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment.

Limitation on Closing Argument Affirmed

In a criminal trial, closing argument is the opportunity for each side to summarize their theories of the case. There is flexibility for each side to present a theory. But the arguments are still limited to the facts in evidence and reasonable inferences from those facts. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Krasovic, M2013-00607-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-26-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals upheld a trial court's limitation on the defense description of events leading to convictions for vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment.

Tennessee policeman charged with drunk driving

People are still human beings, regardless of their profession or social status. As such, they make errors in judgment on occasion, and some may even find themselves on the wrong side of criminal allegations -- even when they are not actually guilty. One Tennessee police officer has now found himself being accused of drunk driving and possessing firearms while intoxicated.

Son of Tennessee lawmaker arrested for drunk driving, shooting

For those who live their life in the eye of the public, the implied expectation may be that they and their families will conduct themselves with the highest standards in mind at all times. Many times, however, the pressure that comes with such expectations winds up causing normal, but flawed, human beings to engage in behavior that causes embarrassment -- or worse -- results in actual criminal charges, such as drunk driving. A Tennessee lawmaker is now facing that scenario in relation to the charges that have been filed against his son.

Circumstantial Evidence Sufficient in Registry Violation

Circumstantial evidence can establish the elements of a crime under Tennessee law and is of no less value than direct evidence in doing so. Either or both may be relied upon by a jury in determining whether the elements of a crime have been proven. The jury decides the weight to be afforded to circumstantial evidence and whether the circumstances are consistent with guilt or inconsistent with innocence. The standard of appellate review is the same, whether the evidence at trial was primarily direct, primarily circumstantial, or a mix of both. In the recent case of State v. Harris, W2013-02310-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-12-2014), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a conviction of a sexual offender registry violation where the evidence was partially circumstantial.

Circumstantial Evidence Sufficient in Registry Violation

Circumstantial evidence can establish the elements of a crime under Tennessee law and is of no less value than direct evidence in doing so. Either or both may be relied upon by a jury in determining whether the elements of a crime have been proven. The jury decides the weight to be afforded to circumstantial evidence and whether the circumstances are consistent with guilt or inconsistent with innocence. The standard of appellate review is the same, whether the evidence at trial was primarily direct, primarily circumstantial, or a mix of both. In the recent case of State v. Harris, W2013-02310-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-12-2014), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a conviction of a sexual offender registry violation where the evidence was partially circumstantial.

Driver who killed Tennessee teen charged with vehicular homicide

One mother recently made the statement that if she had to imagine the worst thing to ever experience, she would not have thought it would involve losing her son. Unfortunately, she has had to endure just that unimaginable pain after her teen was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The driver who may have done so is now facing vehicular homicide charges in connection with this fatal Tennessee collision.

Video Interview Admissibility Statute Constitutional

As a video interview typically occurs out of court, the assertions of fact within a video interview are often hearsay. Testimony in criminal cases is generally given by live witnesses in court proceedings. However, there are exceptions, under the rules of evidence and by statute, under which a video interview may be played for a jury in a criminal case. In 2009, the Tennessee State Legislature enacted a statute allowing for the admissibility of forensic interviews of children under age thirteen in criminal trials where the defendant is charged with sexual abuse of the child. The recent Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals opinion in State v. McKaughan, W2013-00676-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-2-2014) has affirmed the constitutionality of this statute.

Video Interview Admissibility Statute Constitutional

As a video interview typically occurs out of court, the assertions of fact within a video interview are often hearsay. Testimony in criminal cases is generally given by live witnesses in court proceedings. However, there are exceptions, under the rules of evidence and by statute, under which a video interview may be played for a jury in a criminal case. In 2009, the Tennessee State Legislature enacted a statute allowing for the admissibility of forensic interviews of children under age thirteen in criminal trials where the defendant is charged with sexual abuse of the child. The recent Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals opinion in State v. McKaughan, W2013-00676-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-2-2014) has affirmed the constitutionality of this statute.

Video Interview Admissibility Statute Constitutional

As a video interview typically occurs out of court, the assertions of fact within a video interview are often hearsay. Testimony in criminal cases is generally given by live witnesses in court proceedings. However, there are exceptions, under the rules of evidence and by statute, under which a video interview may be played for a jury in a criminal case. In 2009, the Tennessee State Legislature enacted a statute allowing for the admissibility of forensic interviews of children under age thirteen in criminal trials where the defendant is charged with sexual abuse of the child. The recent Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals opinion in State v. McKaughan, W2013-00676-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-2-2014) has affirmed the constitutionality of this statute.

Tennesse man accused of property damage in drunk driving charge

Many people have dreamed of breaking down barriers and making it big in Nashville. However, Tennessee one man has been arrested and charged with drunk driving after destroying two fences when he smashed through them with his vehicle. He may now have some unpleasant repercussions following his arrest and alleged confession.

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