Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals

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
LocationKnoxville, Nashville, and Jackson
Composition methodExecutive selection plus
Non-partisan retention
see Tennessee Plan
Authorized byTennessee General Assembly
Appeals toTennessee Supreme Court
Number of positions12 - 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.

Decisions of the Court of Criminal Appeals decisions may be appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court by permission. All decisions in capital cases are, however, appealed automatically.


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:[1]

  • J. Ross Dyer Western Section
  • Timothy L. Easter – Middle Section
  • Alan E. Glenn – Western Section
  • Robert L. Holloway, Jr. - Middle Section
  • Camille R. McMullen - Western Section
  • Robert H. Montgomery, Jr. - Eastern Section
  • Norma McGee Ogle – Eastern Section
  • D. Kelly Thomas – Eastern Section
  • Robert W. Wedemeyer – Middle Section
  • John Everett Williams – Western Section
  • James Curwood Witt – Eastern Section
  • Thomas T. Woodall – Middle Section


  1. "Court of Criminal Appeals Judges". Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts. Retrieved Feb 13, 2014.
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