Arkansas Supreme Court

Arkansas' highest court has again tossed the murder conviction of a Lincoln County man in a 2011 shooting death, ruling a lower court didn't have the authority to try him on a lesser charge after the original case was dismissed.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday reversed and dismissed the first-degree murder conviction of Justin Jamaille Thornton in the shooting death of Kwame Turner. Thornton had been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Arkansas' highest court says a lawsuit by a group of Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs employees who claim they weren't paid for meal breaks they were required to work shouldn't be a class-action case.

The Arkansas Parole Board has notified the attorneys for four Arkansas death row inmates that approaching deadlines to apply for executive clemency have been suspended.

Board spokesman Solomon Graves confirmed in an email Monday that the deadlines are suspended for the four inmates, who had been scheduled for execution on Dec. 14 and Jan. 14. Graves says the decision was made because of a temporary restraining order placed on those executions by the Arkansas Supreme Court last month.

state board of education little rock school district takeover
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The Arkansas Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to the state's takeover of the Little Rock School District.

In an unanimous decision, the court ruled that the Arkansas Department of Education did have sovereign immunity, or the right to remain free of a  lawsuit, in its takeover of the District. A lawsuit filed by three former Little Rock School board members and one area voter claimed the state treated the district as an exception and the state had no plan in place to benefit the district, placing its actions outside the law.

 

Arkansas' highest court has upheld the conviction and life sentence of a Little Rock man in the 2013 killing of a restaurant manager during a robbery at a mall.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the capital murder, attempted capital murder and aggravated robbery convictions of Deonte Edison.

Lawyers for the state of Arkansas have filed notice that they will appeal a lower court judge's temporary restraining order that halted eight planned executions scheduled to begin next week.

Melissa McCann-Arms
Arkansas Department Of Correction

The Arkansas Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a woman sentenced to 20 years in prison after giving birth to a baby with methamphetamine in his system.

The court handed down the decision Thursday for 39-year-old Melissa McCann-Arms. She and her son tested positive for the drug after she gave birth in 2012. She was convicted of a felony crime called introduction of controlled substance into body of another person.

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.

Arkansas Dept. of Correction

The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of an inmate convicted of killing his cellmate at a maximum security prison.

Robert Holland was convicted of capital murder in the 2012 strangulation of Matthew Scheile. According to court records, Holland had refused to have a cellmate but agreed to accept Scheile in his cell on Dec. 7, 2012. That same night, Scheile was found dead in the cell they shared at the Cummins unit.

An ethics panel has dismissed a complaint that four members of the Arkansas Supreme Court delayed proceedings in a gay marriage lawsuit.

The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission on Wednesday dismissed the complaint against Justices Karen Baker, Courtney Goodson, Jo Hart and Robin Wynne over the court's handling of the lawsuit over Arkansas' gay marriage ban.

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