Supreme Court says jury can convict on less serious charge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that a jury is free to convict someone of the less serious crime of criminal attempt even if there is actual evidence that the crime was not only attempted but actually completed.

The decision involved the case of a man convicted of one count of criminal attempt to commit sexual battery by an authority figure. He had originally been indicted by a Davidson County grand jury on two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of sexual battery by an authority figure.

The man appealed, arguing there wasn’t enough evidence to convict and that testimony showed he either did or did not commit the crime.

The court said jurors were rightfully given the option of convicting on the lesser-included offense of criminal attempt.