Arkansas Courts

Arkansas Death Chamber Lethal Injection
Arkansas Department of Correction

An Arkansas judge says prison officials must release the package label from a recently acquired lethal injection drug, saying manufacturers don't enjoy the same secrecy as others under the state's execution procedures.

Lawyer Steven Shults says Arkansas' Freedom of Information law requires disclosure. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce on Tuesday rejected the state's argument that privacy granted to drug sellers and suppliers in Arkansas' execution law also extends to manufacturers.

An Arkansas trial has been delayed for a Tennessee rapper and his bodyguard, who face federal weapons charges.

The scheduled Monday trial of Ricky Hampton, who performs as Finese2Tymes, and bodyguard Kentrell Gwynn, both of Memphis, was postponed on Friday until March 19.

Hampton is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with a shooting outside a nightclub in eastern Arkansas and Gwynn is charged with providing a felon with a firearm and with providing armed security to a felon.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An attorney for an Arkansas death row inmate is asking Gov. Asa Hutchinson to deny Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s request to set a date for his execution. Jack Gordon Greene was sentenced to death for the 1991 murder of Sidney Jethro Burnett at his home in Johnson County.

Greene’s court-appointed attorney is John C. Williams with the office of the Federal Public Defender. He argues that Greene’s declining mental state could render his execution unconstitutional.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today has asked Gov. Asa Hutchinson to set the next execution, this after the state made international news for scheduling eight executions in 11 days in April in order to make use of a lethal injection drug set to expire May 1.

Arkansas's three-drug execution protocol calls for midazolam, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride, in that order. The state's supply of midazolam expired May 1. The state doesn't have any alternative protocol to execute anyone sentenced to death. 

Planned Parenthood
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Arkansas can block Medicaid funding for healthcare services conducted by Planned Parenthood. The 2-1 decision lifts preliminary injunctions issued by U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker after a class-action lawsuit was filed suit over the state's 2015 decision. She had ruled Medicaid rules allowed recipients to choose among any qualified provider.

This is press release from Jonesboro Attorney Bobby McDaniel: 

A judge in northeast Arkansas has awarded $150 million in a civil lawsuit to the families of five people who were fatally shot outside an Arkansas school in 1998.

The families' attorney, Bobby McDaniel, says they probably won't ever see the money, but hopes the Monday ruling will prevent Andrew Golden and Mitchell Johnson from profiting from the shooting.

Golden and Johnson set off a fire alarm at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro and shot at people as they evacuated the school.

Attorneys for three Arkansas abortion clinics say a new state law requiring suspension or revocation of their licenses for any violation unconstitutionally singles them out, while the state says the new restriction furthers its interest in protecting women's health.

A federal judge said Thursday he hoped to rule quickly in the challenge to the new measure, which was approved this year and took effect last week. Planned Parenthood and Little Rock Family Planning Services want the law struck down as unconstitutional.

Judge Bobby McCallister
Arkansas Business

A trial date has been set for a central Arkansas county circuit judge accused of having more than $100,000 in unpaid state and federal taxes.

The Saline Courier reports that special appointed Circuit Judge David Laser filed an order Monday to schedule Saline County Circuit Judge Bobby McCallister's trial for Nov. 6 and 7.

The Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission began investigating McCallister's taxes in March.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' revived law requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot will be put to the test as soon as it takes effect this week, with early voting beginning for five local sales tax elections.

Voters heading to the polls early in three cities and two counties Tuesday for special elections on sales tax measures will be required to show photo ID before casting a ballot, or sign a sworn statement confirming their identity under the law approved by the Legislature earlier this year.

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