VOL. 132 | NO. 57 | Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Weirich Accepts Private Reprimand 3 Days Before Professional Conduct Hearing
By Bill Dries
Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said Monday, March 20, she is accepting a private reprimand admitting an error, thus ending a review of her conduct in the murder trial of Noura Jackson by the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility.
Weirich’s attorneys sought the private reprimand at the outset of the disciplinary proceedings. She was scheduled to appear before the panel of three attorneys on Thursday.
The charges against Weirich stem from comments she made as lead prosecutor in the 2009 Jackson murder trial. The board charged Weirich with improperly commenting on Jackson’s right to remain silent – she cited the Fifth Amendment in declining to testify in her trail – during a rebuttal closing argument.
Noura Jackson was convicted of stabbing her mother to death, but the state Supreme Court reversed the murder conviction and ordered a new trial based on evidence that was inadvertently withheld from the defense team and Weirich’s comments.
Assistant district attorney Stephen P. Jones, who prosecuted Jackson along with Weirich, was not censured by the panel of three attorneys on March 2. The panel essentially found that the failure by Jones to disclose a witness statement was
an “isolated, inadvertent violation.”
Jackson entered a plea before her new trial and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. She has been released from prison.
Weirich called her actions “a mistake,” and acknowledged that with more than 200,000 cases, her office was going to make some mistakes.
She called the private reprimand “all encompassing” but did not elaborate.