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Criminal Cases Overturned Two-Fold This Summer in Nashville

four-criminal-cases-overturnedLegal experts furrow their brows as they consider the odd but true news regarding four criminal cases overturned in Davidson County courts in just over a month this summer: the numbers are, they say, higher than usual. Usually there’s about two cases overturned each year in Nashville courts due to some kind of error made during closing arguments, or a lack of sufficient evidence. 2015 has seen five so far, and four of these happened in a very short period of time. Weird.

The Overturned Cases

  • Adam W. Robinson faced charges related to multiple incidents of sexual violence against a minor girl. The closing arguments for this case on behalf of the prosecution were deemed “improper” by the Court of Criminal Appeals, and the case was overturned in late June.
  • James Thomas Jr. was at trial for domestic violence and aggravated rape. Prosecution was deemed to have made the trial null during closing arguments by stating personal convictions related to the honesty of Thomas Jr. Furthermore, a detective was permitted to speak up on behalf of the victim’s credibility, which is apparently a no-no. This case was overturned in late July.
  • Deandre D. Rucker was looking at life sentence in prison for first-degree murder, a crime that occurred in 2009. The prosecution used rap lyrics during the closing statements, and the Court of Criminal Appeals responded by overturning the case on the grounds that doing so was unnecessarily racist and appealed to an unfair framing of Rucker. This case was overturned in early July.
  • Donald W. Higgins was accused of child neglect in 2011 when the child of a woman with whom he was involved was hospitalized with serious burn injuries, all unreported. Despite his not being related to the child, he was at trial for encouraging the mother’s neglect. This case was overturned in late July due to the Criminal Court of Appeals’ assertion that there was not enough evidence to prove that Higgins could be charged based on neglect for a child that was not related to him.

What Does It All Mean?

For one thing, the fact that all of these cases were overturned means that the victims are probably going to have to go through the whole cumbersome process of trial all over again. Some of these cases have been going on for 5 or 6 years – imagine having to suffer through that amount of time all over again. That’s a decade of actively dealing with a situation that you more than likely want to forget.

Many have commented on the unusual relation between each case: each was overturned due to mistakes made during closing statements. Some have asked, “Are the judges trying to make a statement directed at Nashville prosecutors?” It’s hard to say for sure, but it’s definitely certain that these decisions will have to be respected. Even if the decisions are contested, prosecutors who disagree will have to be more careful about what they choose to say during closing statements from here on out.

Hire Nashville Criminal Lawyers

At Turner Law Offices, P.C., we have years of experience dealing with a wide variety of criminal cases. We know the most efficient and secure routes towards a successful outcome – and you better believe that we take the entire trial seriously from opening to closing statements. Call today, or go online to set up your Free Initial Consultation, and meet with a skilled lawyer who is ready and waiting to help you get the justice you deserve.

(615) 259-2660

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