Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
DENNIS L. ROSE
CHERRY LINDAMOOD, WARDEN
Assigned on Briefs January 17, 2018
from the Circuit Court for Wayne County No. 15952 Robert L.
a jury trial in Sullivan County Criminal Court, Petitioner,
Dennis L. Rose, was found guilty of first degree murder. The
judgment shows that he was given a life sentence in the
Tennessee Department of Correction. After his conviction was
affirmed on direct appeal, State v. Dennis Lee Rose,
No. E2010-00734-CCA-R3-CD, 2012 WL 335548 (Tenn. Crim. App.
Feb. 1, 2012), perm. app. denied (Tenn. May 21,
2012) (designated not for citation), Petitioner's request
for post-conviction relief was also denied, and that judgment
was also affirmed. Dennis L. Rose v. State, No.
E2015-00768-CCA-R3-PC, 2016 WL 3215682 (Tenn. Crim. App. June
2, 2016), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Oct. 19, 2016).
Thereafter, Petitioner initiated this proceeding by filing
his petition for habeas corpus relief. The petition was
dismissed by the habeas corpus court, and Petitioner
appealed. We affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
L. Rose, Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia
Lee, Senior Counsel; and Brent A. Cooper, District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Robert L. Holloway, Jr., and Timothy L. Easter, JJ.,
T. WOODALL, PRESIDING JUDGE
alleges the following in his petition as the basis justifying
habeas corpus relief:
The trial court lacked the jurisdictional authority to impose
a [l]ife sentence with the possibility of parole for the
offense of first[ ]degree murder, because the possibility of
parole is not statutorily authorized and therefore renders
his judgment void.
judgment, however, clearly sets punishment at
"life," without the surplusage of "with
possibility of parole" erroneously stated by the trial
court at the time of sentencing. We agree with the habeas
corpus court's conclusion that the trial court's
misstatement at the time of sentencing did not render the
judgment void. The trial court's erroneous statement that
Petitioner asserts renders the judgment void is as follows:
[Petitioner], as to the jury finding you guilty in Count 1 of
the indictment to the offense of premeditated first[ ]degree
murder, it's the judgment of the Court you are guilty.
Court sentences you to life imprisonment with the possibility
of parole. . . . So you're sentenced to life with the
possibility of parole as to Count 1.
right to habeas corpus relief is available "only when
'it appears upon the face of the judgment or the record
of the proceedings upon which the judgment is rendered'
that a convicting court was without jurisdiction or authority
to sentence a defendant, or that a defendant's sentence
of imprisonment or other restraint has expired."
Summers v. State, 212 S.W.3d 251, 255 (Tenn. 2007)
(quoting Archer v. State, 851 S.W.2d 157, 164 (Tenn.
1993)). In contrast to a post-conviction petition, a habeas
corpus petition is used to challenge void and not merely
voidable judgments. Summers, 212 S.W.3d at 255-56. A
voidable judgment is one that is facially valid and requires
proof beyond the face of the record or judgment to establish
its invalidity. Id. at 256; Dykes v.
Compton, 978 S.W.2d 528, 529 (Tenn. 1998). A void
judgment "is one in which the judgment is facially
invalid because the court lacked jurisdiction or authority to
render the judgment." Taylor v. State, 995
S.W.2d 78, 83 (Tenn.1999); Dykes, 978 S.W.2d at 529.
petitioner bears the burden of proving a void judgment or
illegal confinement by a preponderance of the evidence.
Wyatt v. State, 24 S.W.3d 319, 322 (Tenn. 2000). A
trial court may summarily dismiss a petition for writ of
habeas corpus without the appointment of counsel and without
an evidentiary hearing if there is nothing on the face of the
judgment to indicate that the convictions ...