Arkansas Judicial System

An Arkansas judicial campaign watchdog group has issued a cease and desist letter to an out-of-state group running ads against Little Rock attorney Clark Mason in the race for an associate state Supreme Court justice spot. The group, consisting mostly of current and former Arkansas Judges and legal professionals, called the Arkansas Campaign Conduct and Education Committee, Inc.

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark) in February.
C-SPAN

In a rare bi-partisan moment the U.S. Senate - or all but one member - was prepared to take a step on Thursday to change part of the nation's juvenile justice system. President Obama's State of the Union address in January harped on criminal justice as an area where common ground might be found.

The congressional news site Roll Call has an account of U.S. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas ruffling the feathers of Democrats and Republicans alike.

McPherson Prison Unit in Newport.
Arkansas Department Of Correction

A former Arkansas prison chaplain has been released on $30,000 bond after turning himself in to be charged with 50 counts of sexual assault. Jackson County Sheriff's office employees said Kenneth Dewitt turned himself in Monday morning and was released on bond after seeing a judge.

File photo: Attorney Cheryl Maples.
arktimes.com

A same-sex couple seeking to amend their child’s birth certificate to include the non-biological mother has been denied by the Arkansas Department of Health despite a judge’s order. Following Monday's request to change documentation the attorney general's office filed a request for a stay on Tuesday with a notification of intent to appeal.

Just hours after Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Fox’s decision on Monday Marissa Pavan went with her spouse and attorney Cheryl Maples to the state’s vital records office.

Attorneys for eight Arkansas inmates whose executions have been put on hold say a judge had the authority to block the state from putting them to death while he considers a challenge to the state's lethal injection law.

The attorneys on Friday asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to deny a motion by the state to dissolve Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen's order blocking the executions, which were set to begin next week.

Judge Wendell Griffen at Truthful Tuesday on the steps of the state Capitol in 2014.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen has set March 1 and 2 as hearing dates to consider the constitutionality of a state law allowing lethal injection drug types to be kept secret.

The plaintiffs in the case argue such secrecy clouds their ability to challenge a potentially cruel and unusual form of punishment. Eight Arkansas inmates currently await execution.

Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen
PBS

An Arkansas judge has halted the executions of eight death row inmates, dealing a blow to the state's efforts to begin putting prisoners to death for the first time in a decade.

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen's ruling Friday came in a case in which the inmates are challenging a new Arkansas law allowing the state to withhold any information that could publicly identify the manufacturers or sellers of its execution drugs.

The Arkansas Supreme Court is considering whether the state can claim sovereign immunity after the Arkansas Board of Education’s January takeover of the Little Rock School District.

In March, the Supreme Court issued a stay in a Circuit Court case after Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen ruled against the state's claim that it has sovereign immunity.

Cummins arkansas department of correction prison
Arkansas Department of Correction

Arkansas has the highest percentage of male inmates in solitary confinement in the country according to a new report.

File photo: Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaking to reporters at the Capitol
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas' attorney general has asked Gov. Asa Hutchinson to set execution dates for eight death row inmates in what would be the state's first executions in a decade.

Pages