About the Court of Criminal Appeals
Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals judges are (seated from left) James Curwood Witt Jr., Jerry L. Smith, Presiding Judge Joseph M. Tipton, Thomas T. Woodall, John Everett Williams, (standing from left) Jeffrey S. Bivins, Camille R. McMullen, Robert W. Wedemeyer, Norma McGee Ogle, Alan E. Glenn, D. Kelly Thomas Jr., and Roger A. Page.
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The Court of Criminal Appeals was created by the legislature in 1967 to hear trial court appeals in felony and misdemeanor cases, as well as post-conviction petitions. The Tennessee General Assembly increased the membership of the court from nine to 12 on Sept. 1, 1996.
The members sit monthly in panels of three in Jackson, Knoxville and Nashville. They may also meet in other places as necessary.
All Court of Criminal Appeals decisions may be appealed to the state Supreme Court by permission, except in capital cases, which are appealed automatically. No witnesses, juries or testimonies are present in the Court of Criminal Appeals. Instead, attorneys present oral and written arguments.
Court of Criminal Appeals judges are elected on a “retain-replace” ballot every eight years. As in the other appellate courts, judges on the Court of Criminal Appeals must be evaluated every eight years. Results of the evaluations are published in newspapers across the state, to help voters decide whether the judges should be retained.