Arkansas Supreme Court

The Arkansas Supreme Court has denied a requested rehearing of a ruling that says state wildlife officers violated a hunter's constitutional rights when they ran a criminal background check on him when they didn't have any reasonable suspicion he had violated any laws.

The rehearing request was denied in a ruling issued Thursday without comment, though it noted three justices would have granted the hearing.

Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed University of Arkansas judicial ethics professor Howard Brill as Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court Tuesday.

Brill has taught law for 40 years and served as a special justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court. He said his judicial philosophy is one of restraint and adherence to the law.

Jim Hannah says he's stepping down as Arkansas' chief justice at the end of the month because of a "significant" health issue.

Hannah on Thursday announced he will leave the court Aug. 31, more than a year before his eight-year term on the court expires. Hannah had been widely expected to not seek re-election next year.

Hannah said in a statement he's resigning to focus full-time on his health.

Arkansas' highest court has ruled that state wildlife officers violated a hunter's constitutional rights when they ran a criminal background check on him when they didn't have any reasonable suspicion he had violated any laws.

Justices on Thursday reversed and remanded a Craighead County judge's denial of the motion to suppress evidence against Jimmy Paul Pickle. Pickle was arrested by Game and Fish officers after they found he was a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, then found Pickle had methamphetamine and a glass pipe when they searched him.

Ulonzo Gordon
adc.arkansas.gov

An opinion issued by the Arkansas Supreme Court Thursday could have major implications for more than 50 state inmates who were sentenced to mandatory life sentences as juveniles.

The Arkansas Supreme Court issued two decisions Thursday, one concerning mandatory life sentences for crimes committed by juveniles, the other on a lawsuit against the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs.

In one case, justices ordered a new sentencing hearing for an inmate serving mandatory life in prison without parole for crimes he committed as a juvenile. The state's high court upheld a lower court ruling that Ulonzo Gordon should receive a new sentence in line with a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling barring mandatory life sentences for juveniles.

The Arkansas Supreme Court says it won't hear new arguments over whether to legalize gay marriage, but will leave a ban in place until it rules.

In unsigned orders Thursday, justices refused to lift a year-old stay. They also won't hear new arguments even though two of its seven members joined the court this year.

Associate Justice Paul Danielson says he's not seeking re-election to the Arkansas Supreme Court, while a state judge who served in the Legislature is launching a bid for his seat.

Danielson on Tuesday announced he's not running for another eight-year term on the court next year, citing a state law that prohibits him from running without forfeiting his retirement benefits. Danielson was first elected to the court in 2006 to a two-year term, and was elected to a full eight year term in 2008.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld a man's driving while intoxicated conviction, saying his argument that a blood sample was taken illegally was an "absurd" interpretation of state law.

In an opinion released Thursday, the court affirmed the DWI conviction of Ernie Charles Metzner.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has sent back to circuit court two cases involving inmates serving mandatory life in prison without parole for crimes they committed as juveniles.

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