2019 Tennessee Code
Title 39 - Criminal Offenses
Chapter 13 - Offenses Against Person
Part 2 - Criminal Homicide
§ 39-13-208. Notice of penalty to be sought for capital offenses.
(a) Written notice that the state intends to seek the death penalty, filed pursuant to Rule 12.3(b) of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall constitute notice that the state also intends to seek, as a possible punishment, a sentence of imprisonment for life without possibility of parole.
(b) Where a capital offense is charged in the indictment or presentment and the district attorney general intends to ask for the sentence of imprisonment for life without possibility of parole, written notice shall be filed not less than thirty (30) days prior to trial. If the notice is filed later than this time, the trial judge shall grant the defendant, upon motion by the defendant, a reasonable continuance of the trial. The notice shall specify that the state intends to seek the sentence of imprisonment for life without possibility of parole, and the notice shall specify the aggravating circumstance or circumstances the state intends to rely upon at a sentencing hearing. Specification may be complied with by a reference to the citation of the circumstance or circumstances. Such notice shall be in writing and filed with the court and served on counsel.
(c) If notice is not filed pursuant to subsection (a) or (b), the defendant shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life by the court, if the defendant is found guilty of murder in the first degree.
(d) The defendant and the state of Tennessee may enter into a plea agreement whereby the defendant is sentenced to imprisonment for life without possibility of parole, pursuant to Rule 11 of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure.