Belmont Criminal Law Journal


Student comments on the Tennessee Supreme Court decision “State of Tennessee v. Kevin E. Trent”. The central holding vacating the sentence in this case did not establish a new doctrine of law but merely reiterated the holding in Travis that the essential elements of the offense alone cannot justify denial of probation in a probation-eligible offense. The Trent decision should be viewed by trial judges and practitioners primarily as a reminder of that principal. On the other hand, the court broke some new ground in appellate review. Prior decisions established that appellate courts can only uphold a sentence if the record is sufficient record to allow “meaningful appellate review.” Trent took that rule a step further by requiring a sufficient record for an appellate court to affirmatively impose a sentence.


Criminal Law, Tennessee, Tennessee Supreme Court, Sentencing, Appellate Review