TN – Ineligible foreperson – State v Lopez 2014


The foreperson was found to be ineligible due to his prior felony conviction and Lopez appealed

First of all an objections should have been raised before trial

Rule 12(b)(2)(B) of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that a motion alleging a defect in the indictment, presentment, or information must be raised before trial but that “at any time while the case is pending, the court may hear a claim that the indictment, presentment, or information fails to show jurisdiction in the court or to charge an offense[.]” Id. “`Lack of jurisdiction’ refers to subject matter jurisdiction,” State v. Nixon, 977 S.W.2d 119, 120 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1997), which refers to a court’s authority to adjudicate a dispute brought before it. Freeman v. CSX Transp., Inc., 359 S.W.3d 171, 176 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2010). “[A]ll objections or defects in the indictment[,] other than those [related to the subject matter jurisdiction of the court and failure to charge an offense,]” must be raised prior to trial or will result in waiver. Nixon, 977 S.W.2d at 121.

Court had jurisdiction

The defendant’s case was tried before the Davidson County Criminal Court, which has subject matter jurisdiction over crimes occurring within Davidson County. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 16-10-102. The status of the grand jury foreman as a convicted felon does not relate to the power of the court to hear and decide a case. Moreover, the defendant does not contend that the indictment failed to charge an offense. Neither of the narrow exceptions permitting objections to an indictment after trial applies; therefore, the defendant waived any objection to the grand jury foreman’s status as a felon because it was not raised prior to trial.

Any defect is cured if the Jury reaches a verdict

Moreover, the historic doctrine of aider by verdict stands for the proposition that any defects in the indictment are cured if the jury reaches a verdict. See, e.g., Kimbro v. Bomar, 333 F.2d 755, 757 (6th Cir. 1964); Allen v. State, 288 S.W.2d 439, 440 (Tenn. 1956); Jones v. State, 277 S.W.2d 371, 372 (Tenn. 1955); Driscoll v. State, 232 S.W.2d 28, 29 (Tenn. 1950); Pope v. State, 258 S.W.775, 776 (Tenn. 1924); State v. Smith, 7 Tenn. 165 (Tenn. 1823). In this case, the jury deliberated and returned a verdict of guilty of second degree murder and, by doing so, cured any defect in the indictment. The defendant is not entitled to relief.



6 thoughts on “TN – Ineligible foreperson – State v Lopez 2014

  1. Actually this not surprising NBC. Sharon Rondeau already knows this is how it has been done for a long time and will continue to be done. Everyone is aware of the problem but no one will do anything about it. (I guess except Walt Fitzpatrick). There lies the problem. You can hear Sharon explain it to Laurie Roth:

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  2. John, you are aware that Walt misread the law concerning gran juries and their foremen. Any argument based on an ineligible foreman is just an attempt to obfuscate.

  3. There lies the problem. You can hear Sharon explain it to Laurie Roth:

    So you take Sharon’s beliefs seriously even though all her examples appear to be based on her inability to do sufficient research?

    The real problem here is your ignorance and failures to do proper research and your lack in legal acumen.

    And yet, you keep coming back for more punishment… Quite the “addict”

  4. Some people just cannot comprehend how procedures in different states of the U.S.A. can be different. Possibly CT grand jury procedures are as Sharon fantasizes TN’s should be. Possibly WA’s grand jury procedures are as Walt fantasizes TN’s should be. Some people think that everything in the U.S. should be homogeneous, but that’s just not the case.

  5. Don’t they believe in State Rights? 😉

    And yes, TN is a bit “strange” but as the Supreme Court observed, their practices are not unconstitutional.

    The problem with Walt and people like JY is that they cannot accept that there exists a world outside of their fantasies.

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