Objecting to the Arkansas Supreme Court ruling that lower-court judges can require that defendants pay their bail only in cash, the high court's chief justice cited a musician seldom thought of as a legal scholar: Johnny Cash.
Interim Chief Justice Howard Brill on Thursday cited Cash's song "Starkville City Jail" in a dissent. He said it was wrong for the majority to deny a Benton County man's objection to a $300,000 cash-only bail set in an assault and battery case.
In the 5-2 ruling, justices said Arkansas' constitution allows cash-only bail. Brill's dissent begins with lyrics from Cash's song about his 1965 arrest in the Mississippi town for public drunkenness.
Brill said requiring cash-only for bail strips a person of a constitutional right to provide sufficient surety for their release.