from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. P-14252 Paula
Petitioner, Michael Eugene Sample, was convicted in 1982 of
two counts of felony murder and was sentenced to death.
Following his unsuccessful direct appeal, he began filing,
over the next twenty years, a series of various types of
post-conviction petitions, all of which were unsuccessful.
This appeal followed his claim, filed pursuant to Tennessee
Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1, that he is intellectually
disabled and not eligible to be executed. Thus, in his view,
his sentence is illegal and void; and he is entitled to a
hearing on his claim. Further, he argues that he is entitled
to a writ of error audita querela and a writ of error coram
nobis. The coram nobis court denied relief as to each of
these claims and we affirm the judgment of that court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
R. Bottei and Alexis Soler, Assistant Federal Public
Defenders, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrew
C. Coulam, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich,
District Attorney General; and Pamela Stark, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Robert L. Holloway, Jr., and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.
E. GLENN, JUDGE
his convictions thirty-five years ago, the Petitioner has
initiated a number of post-conviction proceedings, all of
which have been unsuccessful. On August 25, 2016, he filed a
petition for writ of error coram nobis and for writ of audita
querela, based upon the same arguments he has continued on
appeal. For reasons which we will explain, we affirm the
determination by the coram nobis court denying relief.
review the issues argued on appeal by the Petitioner.
Intellectual Disability and Tenn. R. Crim. P. 36.1
appeal, the Petitioner argues that he is entitled to relief,
pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1,
because he is intellectually disabled and, thus, not eligible
to be executed.
36.1 of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure permits a
defendant to seek correction of an unexpired illegal sentence
at any time. See State v. Brown, 479 S.W.3d 200, 211
(Tenn. 2015). "[A]n illegal sentence is one that is not
authorized by the applicable statutes or that ...