Arkansas Courts

The Arkansas Supreme Court says it won't set aside the conviction and life term given to a Randolph County man in the 1998 slayings of a family of four from Dalton.

Billy Dale Green said a judge should have stopped his 2012 trial at least four times, but justices said Thursday any errors were cured by instructions given to the jury.

Members of Green's family testified Green left his house one night in 1998 saying he had to "clean up a mess" created by his son, Chad Green.

Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

The Pulaski County jail has become critically overcrowded, Sheriff Doc Holladay said Monday, which could result in it only being able to house the most dangerous offenders.

It comes as Arkansas has made changes to the parole system, stiffening rules for when people must be detained for violating parole.  That has greatly increased the number of violators being detained at county jails, waiting for space to become available in state prisons.

Adjoa A. Aiyetoro
Malcolm Glover / KUAR

Efforts are underway to examine the criminal justice system in Arkansas and eventually come up with recommendations to improve state prisons.

UALR Bowen Law School professor Adjoa Aiyetoro is overseeing the project. She’s been working with elected officials and community leaders for nearly a year on research concerning racial disparities in sentencing and treatment at Arkansas courts and prisons.

A decade-old lawsuit filed against the tobacco company Phillip Morris USA  was approved to proceed in Little Rock Tuesday.

Plaintiffs are seeking to represent every Arkansan who smoked Marlboro Lights over a 38-year period. 

Yesterday's hearing had been delayed for years over jurisdictional questions. However, in a ruling,  Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox granted the class-action status over the objections of Philip Morris lawyers who wanted any aggrieved customers to file individual lawsuits.

A federal judge has rejected the Little Rock School District's motion to delay a coming trial on Arkansas' request to end long-running desegregation payments to three school districts.

Judge D. Price Marshall on Tuesday rejected the district's request to stay proceedings in the trial, set to begin Dec. 9. 

Little Rock schools argued that the trial should be delayed while a federal appeals court considers their claim that Arkansas' approval of charter schools in Pulaski County violates the desegregation agreement.

Arkansas Lawmakers To Discuss School Funding Issues

Oct 15, 2013

Arkansas lawmakers are set to discuss a state Supreme Court ruling that revives a lawsuit challenging the way the state funds education. 

The House and Senate Education committees planned to meet jointly Tuesday to discuss school funding issues such as transportation and school facilities. 

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and Senior Assistant Attorney General Scott Richardson were scheduled to discuss pending litigation that could affect educational adequacy.

Court Partially Revives Arkansas School-Funding Case

Oct 10, 2013

The Arkansas Supreme Court has revived part of a lawsuit challenging the way the state funds its public schools.

On Thursday, justices reversed part of a Pulaski County judge's decision dismissing a lawsuit by the Deer/Mount Judea School District that claims the state has not lived up to the reforms ending the long-running Lake View school funding suit.

The court ruled that Deer/Mount Judea raised new issues that have emerged since the Lake View case ended in 2007.

Judge Reconsidering Order In Tony Alamo Civil Case

Oct 10, 2013

A judge is reconsidering his order that requires the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries sell several properties to satisfy multi-million dollar judgments against the jailed evangelist. 

The Texarkana Gazette reports that about 100 ministry members attended a bench trial Wednesday at U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant's Texarkana courtroom. 

The members say that the properties are owned collectively by church members and not Alamo, who is serving a 175-year federal prison sentence.

Faulkner County Escapee Due In Court For Hearing

Sep 30, 2013

One of the three inmates who escaped the Faulkner County jail last month is due in court.

The Log Cabin Democrat reports that 27-year-old Joel Vermillion is due in Faulkner County Circuit Court Monday for two pretrial hearings and a revocation hearing.

The pretrial hearings are on charges of forgery, possession with intent to sell drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and third-degree escape.

The revocation hearing is related to a 2012 charge of illegal possession of a firearm.

Judge Holding Hearing On Arkansas Sex Offender Law

Sep 26, 2013

A federal judge is to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging an Arkansas law that prohibits registered sex offenders from receiving Medicaid funds.

U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson is scheduled to hear arguments in Dr. Lonnie Joseph Parker's effort to block enforcement of the law while Parker challenges its constitutionality.

The law was approved by the state Legislature earlier this year and took effect Aug. 16.

Parker was convicted in 2000 of possessing child pornography, but has long maintained his innocence and had his medical license reinstated in 2005.

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