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Abdur'Rahman v. Tennessee
Brief of Amicus Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Appellee.
Argument: The Davidson County Criminal Court had jurisdiction to evaluate Mr. Abdur’Rahman’s motion to re-open his post-conviction petition, which gave it the inherent power to preside over a settlement of his post-conviction case. Due Process, principles of contract law, and economic efficiency require Mr. Abdur’Rahman’s settlement agreement to be specifically enforced. Under agency law principles, the District Attorney General had the actual and apparent authority to settle Mr. Abdur’Rahman’s post-conviction case. District Attorneys General, duly elected by the public in their district, are in a superior position to broker settlements in post-conviction capital cases. Troubling equal protection issues are raised in a system where the State Attorney General can appeal some post-conviction settlements but allow others to stand.