Death row inmate loses request for new trial

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Supreme Court has rejected a request from death row inmate Clarence Nesbit for a new trial, saying Nesbit failed to prove his lawyer’s performance affected the outcome of his case, but the court sent the case back for another sentencing hearing.

Nesbit was found guilty at trial of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in the 1993 killing of 20-year-old Miriam Cannon in Memphis.

The conviction and sentence were upheld on appeal, but in 1999 Nesbit sought relief on the grounds of ineffective counsel. He was denied a new trial but granted a new sentencing hearing, and the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the ruling.

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that Nesbit failed to prove that the result of his case would have been different if not for his trial lawyer’s performance and upheld the appeals court’s ruling.