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Appellate Review of Judicial Diversion Denial

August 22, 2013

Appellate Review of Judicial Diversion Denial

Case:State of Tennessee v. Kiara Tashawn King

Facts: Defendant pled guilty to various crimes and was sentenced to five years of probation without judicial diversion.

Appellate Decision: Despite “scant” evidence on the matter, the court upheld the denial of judicial diversion under a standard of considering whether “any substantial record evidence” supports the decision, with a presumption that the trial court’s decision was reasonable.

Issue: Under what standard does an appellate court review the denial of judicial diversion?

Review Granted: August 14, 2013.

Prediction: Numerous Court of Criminal Appeals opinions have noted the apparently conflicting law on this issue (but have generally resolved cases by determining that the sentence would be upheld under either standard). The Supreme Court’s decision will provide some much-needed clarification. David thinks that harmony with review of other sentencing questions dictates a uniform “abuse of discretion” standard.