Constitutional errors lead to new trial for convicted murderer - | WBTV Charlotte

Constitutional errors entitle Noura Jackson to new trial in murder case

The court found constitutional errors over the course of Noura Jackson's proceedings during the 2009 trial. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file) The court found constitutional errors over the course of Noura Jackson's proceedings during the 2009 trial. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)
The lead prosecutor is now the current Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) The lead prosecutor is now the current Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - Tennessee Supreme Court ordered a new trial for a Shelby County woman who was convicted five years ago in the second-degree murder of her own mother.

The court found constitutional errors over the course of Noura Jackson's proceedings during the 2009 trial. According to the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts, the lead prosecutor made improper argument and withheld evidence, which violated the defendant's constitutional rights.

The lead prosecutor is now the current Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich. Her alleged courtroom mistakes entitled Noura to a new trial, as announced Friday. 

Noura's mother, Jennifer, was stabbed to death on June 5, 2005 in the East Memphis home they shared. She called police that day, saying she found her mother dead and stabbed more than 50 times.

Police say Noura gave conflicting information about her whereabouts around the time of the murder and how she had cut her hand.

When Noura was 20, a criminal court judge sentenced her to nearly 21 years in Tennessee Department of Corrections. Now, her attorney is hoping for a fair trial.

"There was no physical evidence to begin with," attorney Valerie Corder said. "To my knowledge there has been no investigating into whose blood that was mixed with Jennifer Jackson's at the murder scene."

Corder says her client should have never been convicted, and that investigators failed to look further into other DNA found in the home where Jennifer was found. The Tennessee Courts said that no DNA or scientific evidence implicated Noura; the prosecution's case was based on circumstantial evidence alone.

The courts' news release Friday said in part:

"The Supreme Court concluded that the prosecution had violated two of the defendant's constitutional rights: her right to remain silent and not testify at trial, and her right to due process of law. The Court explained that when constitutional errors occur in criminal trials, a new trial is required unless the State establishes that the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt ...

The Supreme Court expressed concern that the prosecutor had violated the more than 100-year-old legal rule prohibiting Tennessee prosecutors from commenting on a defendant's exercise of the right to remain silent. The Supreme Court reiterated a statement first made in 1984, which is that 'the subject of a defendant's right not to testify should be considered off limits to any conscientious prosecutor.'"

The district attorney will decide whether to grant Jackson a new trial. WMC Action News 5 did not receive a call back from Weirich's office regarding our comment request as of Friday night.

Click here to read a statement released Saturday. 

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Two people injured in overnight shooting in south Charlotte

    Two people injured in overnight shooting in south Charlotte

    Sunday, June 24 2018 6:44 AM EDT2018-06-24 10:44:27 GMT

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is investigating a shooting that injured two people in south Charlotte early Sunday morning. Officials say the shooting happened in the 7700 block of England Street around 2 a.m.  

    More >>

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is investigating a shooting that injured two people in south Charlotte early Sunday morning. Officials say the shooting happened in the 7700 block of England Street around 2 a.m.  

    More >>
  • Crews searching for man in possible drowning at Lake Wylie

    Crews searching for man in possible drowning at Lake Wylie

    Sunday, June 24 2018 6:41 AM EDT2018-06-24 10:41:37 GMT
    (WBTV graphic)(WBTV graphic)

    Crews are searching for a man in a possible drowning in Lake Wylie Sunday. Officials say they received the call at 2:16 a.m. An initial investigation revealed that four people were on a boat in the lake at a sandbar located in the 9000 block of Nine Eagles Lane when the man either jumped or fell into the water.  

    More >>

    Crews are searching for a man in a possible drowning in Lake Wylie Sunday. Officials say they received the call at 2:16 a.m. An initial investigation revealed that four people were on a boat in the lake at a sandbar located in the 9000 block of Nine Eagles Lane when the man either jumped or fell into the water.  

    More >>
  • Police investigating 15 home break-ins in several south Charlotte neighborhoods

    Police investigating 15 home break-ins in several south Charlotte neighborhoods

    Saturday, June 23 2018 11:43 PM EDT2018-06-24 03:43:43 GMT

    According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, since May 30, there have been 15 residential break-ins in the Myers Park, Eastover, and Cotswold neighborhoods between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m.

    More >>

    According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, since May 30, there have been 15 residential break-ins in the Myers Park, Eastover, and Cotswold neighborhoods between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly