The Court of Criminal Appeals is one of Tennessee's two intermediate appellate courts. It hears trial court appeals in felony and misdemeanor cases, as well as post-conviction petitions. Appeals in civil cases are heard by the Tennessee Court of Appeals.
|Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals|
|Location||Knoxville, Nashville, and Jackson|
|Composition method||Executive selection plus|
see Tennessee Plan
|Authorized by||Tennessee General Assembly|
|Appeals to||Tennessee Supreme Court|
|Number of positions||12 - panels of 3 justices|
The Court of Criminal Appeals was established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1967. At that time, the court had nine members. Its membership was increased from nine to twelve on September 1, 1996, as a result of action by the General Assembly.
The court's judges sit monthly in panels of three in Jackson, Knoxville and Nashville. The court may meet in other locations as necessary. As an appellate court, there are no juries and the court does not hear testimony from witnesses. Rather, attorneys present oral and written arguments for the court's consideration.
The judges are elected to eight-year terms. If a vacancy occurs during a judge's term, the governor appoints a new judge to serve until the next August of an even-numbered year, when a state general election is held. The names of incumbent judges up for reelection, including judges appointed to fill vacancies, are listed on the ballot without opposition. They are retained or rejected based on a "yes-no" vote. (See Tennessee Plan.)
The twelve judges sitting on the Court as of February 2017 are: