State attorneys want to increase disciplinary actions against Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich.
Weirich already faces discipline from the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Responsibility (TBPR) for her conduct during the 2009 murder trial of Noura Jackson. Weirich was the lead attorney on the case.
Jackson was convicted of the stabbing death of her mother, Jennifer Jackson. But the conviction was overturned by the Tennessee Supreme Court, in part, because Weirich failed to give Jackson’s attorneys a piece of evidence that could have helped Jackson’s case in the trial.
That piece of evidence is at the center of the state’s new request for more discipline of Weirich. State attorneys say Weirich never reviewed the piece of evidence, a handwritten statement from a witness. Therefore, she could not have determined whether or not the evidence would help Jackson’s case, and “failed to exercise appropriate diligence in this matter.”
“Ms. Weirich’s failure to exercise appropriate diligence caused actual injury to [Jackson], to the third parties who participated in the trial, to judicial resources, and to the administration of justice,” reads a petition to the court from Krisann Hodges, deputy chief disciplinary counsel for the TBPR.
In the petition, Hodges writes that should the board find that Weirich broke conduct rules “aggravating factors may be considered to justify an increase in the degree of discipline.”
“Ms. Weirich has substantial experience in the practice of law, which justifies an increase in the degree of discipline,” Hodges writes.
Hodges has requested that a hearing panel be convened to hear testimony and review evidence in the matter, decide whether or not Weirich broke rules of professional conduct and, if so, to order discipline against her.
Weirich has until late next week to reply to the new charges.