Arkansas Judicial System

An Arkansas judge has agreed to never seek judicial office again in the state after admitting that he made inappropriate comments online, including the revelation of confidential details involving actress Charlize Theron's adoption of her son.

The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission announced Wednesday that Circuit Judge Mike Maggio has agreed to be suspended for the rest of the year with pay, then be removed from office. The state Supreme Court must approve the agreement.

An Arkansas jury sentenced a man to life in prison for a murder in retaliation for missing crack cocaine. The Texarkana Gazette reports a Miller County jury returned the verdict for 26-year-old Serandon Ramon Starling on Wednesday afternoon.

It took the jury 30 minutes to find him guilty of murder and committing a terroristic act. It took them 10 minutes to sentence him to two life terms and 15 years on each count of using a firearm in a felony.

A Pulaski County judge has opened a hearing in a lawsuit challenging Arkansas' constitutional ban on gay marriage.

State voters in 2004 approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. A number of same-sex couples filed suit this year asking that the amendment be set aside.

The lawsuit names officials from around the state, including county clerks and the state of Arkansas. The government wants the case dismissed, while those who sued are seeking an injunction to stop enforcement of the amendment.

A day after Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel generated headlines by saying that the state’s death penalty system is broken, he spoke with KUAR News Thursday about his hopes that this will spark a new debate in the coming weeks about what needs to be done by the state.

You can listen to the interview, aired during All Things Considered, above.

At the Arkansas Sheriffs Association convention Wednesday in Fort Smith, McDaniel pointed to roadblocks presented by endless litigation and the inability to get the drugs needed to carry out the procedure.

Judge To Hold Hearing For Arkansas Death Row Inmates

Mar 25, 2013


A hearing is planned in the case of six death row inmates who want the Arkansas Department of Correction to provide documents about lethal injection drugs. 

The hearing is scheduled for Monday morning in Pulaski County. Attorney Jeff Rosenzweig filed a lawsuit last week asking a judge to order the correction department to release the records under the Freedom of Information Act. The inmates are seeking documents containing information about the origin, history and quality of lethal injection drugs.

Trial Postponed For 2 Former LR Police Officers

Mar 18, 2013

A federal judge has granted a request to postpone the trial of two former Little Rock police officers facing drug-related charges.

Court records show that half-brothers Mark Anthony Jones and Randall Tremayn Robinson are now slated to go on trial July 15. Jones and Robinson were previously scheduled to go on trial this week.

Prosecutors say the men drove marked patrol cars while protecting controlled drug deliveries. They have both pleaded not guilty to drug-related charges. Robinson resigned from the police department and Jones was fired. 

Arkansas House Panel OKs Alternative Sentencing Bill

Mar 12, 2013

An Arkansas House panel has advanced a proposal to allow judges in the state to establish court-directed rehabilitation programs where they can send defendants as an alternative to prison or probation.

Under the proposal, which was approved by the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday, defendants would see their case dismissed and records expunged in exchange for successfully completing the program. The option would be available to people charged with certain felonies but excludes those accused of sex offenses or crimes committed against minors or people over 65 years old.

 Starting March 15th , the Pulaski County Circuit Court will be granting amnesty to those who have outstanding warrants for failure to pay court fines. Over 2,000 people who have warrants for the offense must actually pay their fine, but can avoid additional penalties.

People with warrants can go to the Circuit Clerk’s office to clear their name “and by doing this,” says Pulaski County Circuit Judge Vann Smith, “the arrest warrant will be recalled. So they won't have to worry about a traffic stop where there's an outstanding warrant on them and being arrested.”

Pulaski County Detention Facility

Working building an expansion to the Pulaski County Detention Center has been finished and inmates are being moved in this week.

Wednesday afternoon, KUAR’s Kezia Nanda got a look at the facility.  You can listen to her report above.

The facility has offices for deputies, a visitation room, classroom and six large cells, each with 40 beds and a bathroom.

Sheriff Doc Holladay said the expansion was financed by Pulaski County’s general fund without taxes being raised.