The police have arrested Edwin Warren, 21, and charged him with capital murder and robbery in the shooting death last Thursday, of Jaxson Guinn, 19, of Morrilton. Guinn and a companion had apparently been looking to buy drugs when Guinn was shot near 27th and Battery. Guinn managed to drive himself to near 19th and Schiller, where help was summoned, but died later.
It's important to appreciate the little things ... like the fact that, on this lovely April morning, you're not locked up for life inside the near-colorless concrete tomb that is the Arkansas Department of Correction's Varner Supermax Prison near Grady in Lincoln County. A rather haunting video posted to the ADC's Youtube page features a series of rarely-seen views inside Varner. /more/
Sentences doled out by state judges in criminal cases should be appealable, a legislative task force recommended today. Currently, those who are convicted of crimes have no judicial means for challenging the severity of their punishment. Also, debate about racial disparities in the criminal justice system. /more/
Paul Bookout, the former Senate president pro tem who pleaded guilty to felony mail fraud last year, was sentenced to 18 months of federal prison today. U.S. District Judge Brian Miller also ordered Bookout to pay $150,048 in restitution, according to court records. He's to report to prison May 2. /more/
Tom Cotton, never missing a chance to take a hard line policy stance, is leading the opposition to the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, a Senate bill that seeks to address mass incarceration at the federal level by reducing the length of mandatory minimum sentences. The bill has broad bipartisan support, including from the Koch brothers, the ACLU and the White House. Cotton's statements against the bill are highly misleading, the Washington Post finds. /more/
Response to our story about rehoming and adoption has been overwhelmingly positive, with one exception. Rep. Nate Bell (R-Mena) has informed me that writing this story makes me the predator and Justin Harris the victim. I'm hellbound, apparently.
Legislation filed Friday by Rep. Bruce Cozart, a Republican who chairs the House Education Committee, would expand the state's sweeping powers to operate a school or school district in state receivership for academic reasons, including allowing the state to contract with an outside nonprofit to operate the district.