Brennan v. Tennessee Board of ParoleAnnotate this Case
In 2009, Appellant pleaded guilty to attempted rape of a child. That same year, Appellant began serving his sentence. On March 26, 2013, a Tennessee Board of Parole hearing officer conducted a parole hearing for Appellant based on a release eligibility date of June 14, 2013. The hearing offer recommended that parole be denied. The Board concurred and deferred the next parole hearing until 2013. Appellant filed a petition of certiorari, asserting that the Board’s decision was illegal, contrary to established law, and arbitrary and capricious. The trial court dismissed the petition. Appellant appealed. The Court of Appeals did not consider the issues raised by Appellant but, instead, determined that Appellant’s release eligibility date was April 3, 2015. The Court of Appeals then remanded the case to the trial court with instructions for the Board to conduct an immediate parole hearing for Appellant. The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and affirmed the trial court’s decision, holding that the Court of Appeals lacked the authority to calculate the date Appellant could be considered for parole and did so incorrectly.
Authoring Judge: Justice Sharon G. Lee
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Carol L. McCoy
The Tennessee Board of Parole denied parole to a prisoner who was serving a twenty year sentence for convictions of attempted rape of a child. The Board determined that the prisoner s release from custody would depreciate the seriousness of the crime for which he was convicted or promote disrespect for the law. The prisoner filed a petition of certiorari challenging the Board s decision. The trial court affirmed the Board s decision, and the prisoner appealed. The Court of Appeals did not review the issues raised on appeal. Instead, it calculated the date the prisoner should have been considered for parole and concluded that the Board acted arbitrarily by conducting a parole hearing prematurely. The Court of Appeals vacated and remanded with instructions for the Board to give the prisoner an immediate parole hearing. We hold that the Court of Appeals had no authority to calculate the date the prisoner could be considered for parole and did so incorrectly. The Tennessee Department of Correction has the statutory authority to determine the date a prisoner may be considered for parole by the Board. On review, we affirm the trial court s decision.