Court of Criminal Appeals to Livestream Arguments

June 4, 2020

The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals will livestream oral arguments for the first time on June 9 through the TNCourts.gov YouTube page. The intermediate appellate court will hold in-person proceedings on four cases in Nashville.  Under the judicial emergency currently in effect, access to the courthouse will be limited, but proceedings will be livestreamed and available through video or call-in. This will be the first time any in-person appellate proceeding in the state has been livestreamed.

“The Court of Criminal Appeals is excited to invite the public and media into the courtroom via livestream and audio,” Presiding Judge John Everett Williams said. “The Court of Criminal Appeals is the final opportunity to be heard in the vast majority of criminal cases in Tennessee.  Our doors always have been, and always will be, open, even if we have to do things a little differently during a public crisis.”

The Court of Criminal Appeals will hear four cases on June 9 at 9 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:15 p.m. CDT.

  • Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman v. State of Tennessee – This case focuses on whether a trial court had the authority to commute a death sentence to life imprisonment. It originated in Davidson County.
  • State of Tennessee v Quantorius Rankins – This Rutherford County case reviews a judge’s authority to deny judicial diversion and require sex offender registration in a statutory rape case.
  • State of Tennessee v. Willie Nathan Jones – This second-degree murder case reviews the sufficiency of evidence and admission of the defendant’s statements into the record. It is from Putnam County.
  • State of Tennessee v. Demarius Jerome Pitts – This Williamson County case reviews the denial of judicial diversion for a drug charge when the defendant has no previous felony or Class A misdemeanors, but a long list of prior arrests and charges.

Judge Thomas T. Woodall, Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr. and Judge Timothy L. Easter will hear the cases. The cases will be livestreamed to:  https://www.youtube.com/user/TNCourts/videos

To listen only, please dial (312) 626-6799. The meeting ID is 92947132377, and the password is 419113. If asked for a participant ID, press pound.