Tennessee Wrongful Conviction Lawyers

A stunning article in the Nashville Scene underscores the need for wrongful conviction lawyers in Tennessee. According to the article, Paul Garrett was wrongfully convicted in the death of a sex worker named Velma Tharpe. Metro Nashville Police Detectives gave false testimony implicating Garrett. Prosecutors knew the case was “weak” and could not be supported, yet defended their actions anyway. He spent over a decade in prison for a crime he did not commit.

How does wrongful conviction happen?

According to the Equal Justice Initiative:

“More than half of wrongful convictions can be traced to witnesses who lied in court or made false accusations. In 2018, a record number of exonerations involved misconduct by government officials. Other leading causes of wrongful convictions include mistaken eyewitness identifications, false or misleading forensic science, and jailhouse informants.”

Further, systemic and institutional factors can lead to wrongful conviction:

“Police, prosecutors, and judges are not held accountable for misconduct that leads to wrongful convictions, such as fabricating evidence, presenting false testimony, or refusing to consider proof of innocence. Immunity laws protect them from liability even in cases of gross misconduct. Prosecutors can’t be held liable for falsifying evidence, coercing witnesses, presenting false testimony, withholding evidence, or introducing illegally-seized evidence at trial.”

All of these factors were at play in the Paul Garrett case. Prosecutors knew that the conviction was unsupportable, yet continued to defend their own actions. Unreliable jailhouse informants gave false statements. To date, no one involved in the prosecution of Paul Garrett has been held accountable.

How can a Tennessee wrongful conviction lawyer help?

Our Tennessee wrongful conviction lawyers may be able to help exonerees receive compensation. Depending on the facts, a federal cause of action may be available. Alternatively, the State of Tennessee has a statutory scheme for compensating wrongfully convicted persons. Under T.C.A. § 9-8-108, the Tennessee Board of Claims may provide compensation to exonerees for a maximum of $1,000,000.

If you or a loved one has been wrongfully convicted, call the Tennessee wrongful conviction lawyers at David Randolph Smith & Associates today.

Over $500 Million
Recovered Since 1993

We've Helped Thousands of People Just Like You

We are known for getting life-changing results and fighting to make our communities safer.

Why Choose Us As Your  Attorney?

With us on your side, you can focus on what’s most important – your recovery.

Decades Of Experience

Decades Of Experience

Our Nashville personal injury attorneys have over 75 years of combined practice handling cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice, civil rights, medical device lawsuits, wrongful death, and more.

Excellent Reputation

Excellent Reputation

DRS Law is a well-respected personal injury law firm based in Nashville. Our lawyers have  been selected as a Mid-South Super Lawyer, named one of the Top 100 attorneys in Tennessee in all fields of practice, and is included in the Best Lawyers in America guidebook.

Small Case Volume

Small Case Volume

Unlike many Nashville firms that handle a large volume of cases, we concentrate on a select few cases. With this, our attorneys ensure that every step is taken to obtain the most favorable outcomes for our clients.

We Prepare For Trial

We Prepare For Trial

Every case is meticulously prepared for trial by our trial team and support staff in order to maximize the recovery for our client, whether by settlement or trial verdict. Our proven track record of success has resulted in multi-million-dollar settlements and judgments.

What to Expect

Our Legal Services Are Completely Personalized To You And Your Unique Needs

01  Free Consultation

Our dedicated personal injury and accident lawyers provide free, no-pressure case evaluations. We will help you determine if you have a case and will answer all your questions in plain English. We never charge any fees until we win your case.


02  Personalized Service

If we take your case, it’s because we believe we can help you. We will get to work outlining a strategic plan of action. We want you to feel taken care of during this difficult time — whatever questions you have, we’re here with answers. Frequent check-ins ensure you are comfortable with the progress of your case.

03  You Get Paid

We are passionate about the success of your case and will give it the close attention and focus it deserves. We find solutions that other lawyers miss, discovering key facts that help you win. We call upon our gifts in storytelling to argue your case with passion and conviction so you get the compensation and justice you deserve.

What Our Clients Say