Case Number: M2019-00531-SC-R11-CD
In this appeal, we clarify the scope of an appellate court’s limited discretionary authority to consider unpreserved and unpresented issues. Appellee Lynn Frank Bristol was convicted on two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Bristol appealed his convictions to the Court of Criminal Appeals. That court determined Bristol was not entitled to relief on the issues presented, but it reversed his convictions and remanded the case for a new trial based on a supposed problem with the written jury instructions that Bristol had not raised, that no party had an opportunity to address, and that turned out to be nothing more than a clerical error by the trial court clerk’s office. Because the Court of Criminal Appeals abused its discretion by granting relief on an unpreserved and unpresented issue without giving the parties notice and an opportunity to be heard on the matter, we reverse the Court of Criminal Appeals’ decision on the jury-instruction issue and reinstate Bristol’s convictions.
Originating Judge: Judge Vanessa Jackson
Case Name: State of Tennessee v. Lynn Frank Bristol
Dissent or Concur: No
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