Arkansas Supreme Court

Arkansas' Supreme Court has been asked to block a proposal to legalize casinos in three counties, the latest in a growing list of efforts to disqualify measures from the November ballot.

The Committee to Protect Arkansas Values/Stop Casinos Now on Tuesday asked the court to prevent election officials from counting any votes for the proposed constitutional amendment in the Nov. 8 election. The proposal would legalize casinos in Boone, Miller and Washington counties for three companies owned by supporters of the amendment.

marijuana
npr.org

A group opposing efforts to legalize medical marijuana has asked Arkansas' highest court to block a legalization proposal from appearing on the November ballot.

Attorneys for Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana on Wednesday asked the state Supreme Court to block the proposed initiated act, which would allow people with certain medical conditions to buy the drug. The secretary of state's office last month verified the measure had enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

The lawsuit claims the wording of the proposal is misleading and omits key information.

The Arkansas Supreme Court is denying a request by eight death row inmates to appeal a decision that upheld the state’s execution secrecy law. But the court is also delaying its order as the inmates request a hearing from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Government lawyers want Arkansas' highest court to turn down a request that it take another look at a decision upholding broad secrecy provisions in the state's lethal injection law.

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled last month it was OK for the Department of Correction to conceal the maker, seller and other information about execution drugs. Eight inmates in line for Arkansas' first executions since 2005 asked the court to reconsider its 4-3 decision.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has overturned the 2007 death sentence of a former police officer convicted of killing a Sharp County couple over an alleged child custody argument.

Justices sent the case against Steven Victor Wertz back to Sharp County Circuit Court for resentencing Thursday. The majority opinion says the lower court jury did not fill out two separate sets of sentencing documents for the two charges of capital murder in the 1986 deaths of Kathy and Terry Watts in Ash Flat.

Arkansas’s Supreme Court has cited a state-level labor law in a ruling that sets Arkansas's standards as more strict than federal ones.

The court ruled Thursday that Gerber Products Co. should pay workers for time spent changing into uniforms and protective gear, even though their union had bargained away compensation for the activity.

Theresa Beiner, a professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Bowen School of  Law, says exemptions in federal law allow unions to make such concessions.

Marissa Marisa Pavan Birth Certificate certificates same-sex marrriage
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' highest court will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit over whether married same-sex couples can have the names of both spouses on their children's birth certificate without a court order.

The Arkansas Supreme Court says it will not reconsider its decision rejecting an appeal by an inmate sentenced to death for the killing of a prison guard in eastern Arkansas.

Without comment, justices said Thursday they would not grant a rehearing to inmate Latavious Johnson, who was convicted of capital murder in the death of guard Barbara Ester. The court rejected Johnson's appeal last month after he argued jurors at his 2014 trial should have considered a lesser manslaughter charge.

John Williams death row attorney lethal injection
courts.arkansas.gov/courts/supreme-court

Executions may be a step closer to resuming in Arkansas if the state’s Supreme Court rules in favor of Arkansas’s lethal injection drug-supplier secrecy laws.

John Williams, an attorney for eight inmates on death row argued before the high court Thursday that state secrecy about drug suppliers violates their constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

Arkansas is running out of time to put eight prisoners to death before one of its lethal drugs expires next month, even if the state Supreme Court gives a quick green light after hearing an inmate challenge to execution procedures next week.

The state finds itself against a deadline because its supply of the paralytic vecuronium bromide - one of the three drugs in Arkansas' lethal drug protocol - expires June 30. The state's drug supplier has said it won't sell the state more.

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