Infamous crime | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Infamous crime

Posted By on Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Bruce Holland, John Boozman
  • Family Council
Blue Hog Report delves a little bit deeper into a question posed by Jason Tolbert over whether or not Sen. Bruce Holland, R-Greenwood, and his joy-ride through Perry County qualifies as an "infamous crime." Tolbert writes:

If convicted — and I assume he will be — is this an “infamous crime” under the Arkansas Constitution — Article 5, Section 9. This is the clause that got Tom Fite thrown off the ballot for a 1984 guilty plea to aiding Medicaid fraud. Does fleeing from the police qualify? I don’t know but I can tell you this clause needs to be clarified to prevent further confusion.

Matt Campbell, at BHR, takes a stab at the answer and poses another good question: Why wasn't Holland charged with felony fleeing in the first place?

First things first, per the U.S. Supreme Court, an “infamous crime” is one that is punished by more than one year’s incarceration. See Green v. U.S., 356 U.S. 165 (1958). In Arkansas, misdemeanors “that include elements of deceit or dishonesty” have also been held to qualify. See Edwards v. Campbell, 2010 Ark. 398. Holland was charge with fleeing by means of a vehicle or conveyance, which is a Class A misdemeanor under Ark. Code Ann. 5-54-125(d)(1). So, because the punishment could not be greater than one year and the crime has no inherent character of deceit or dishonesty, Holland would seem to have avoided the “infamous crime” language of Article 5, Section 9.

My question, however, is why Holland was only charged with the misdemeanor version of fleeing in a vehicle?

Read the full analysis here.

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