Appealing a sentence or the denial of probation just got tougher under Tennessee law. In years past , the Court of Criminal Appeals and the Tennessee Supreme Court would review a sentence or the denial of probation based upon a standard of review referred to as de novo based with a presumption of correctness. In two recent cases , that standard of review has now been replaced with a abuse of discretion standard.
In State of Tennessee v. Bise , the Tennessee Supreme Court , the court held that "sentences imposed by the trial court within the appropriate statutory range are to be reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard with a presumption of reasonableness."
In State of Tennessee v. Caudle , that same standard was extended to the issue on the granting of probation.
The court’s decision robs an accused of any appellate review of his or her sentence. Now , some judges may impose any punishment they desire as long as it is in the range of punishment. Appellate review of a sentence was one check on the whim of a trial court in imposing a sentence or the denial of probation. It is sad the courts have declined to exercise their oversight of the trial courts. Justice and sentencing will vary on a judge to judge basis.
Yet again , the Tennessee Supreme Court tramples on the rights of a citizen accused and those convicted of a crime.