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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 14:21:00

Federal judge says Wendell Griffen's suit against Arkansas justices can proceed

U.S. District Judge James Moody ruled today that Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen's lawsuit against individual justices on the Arkansas Supreme Court can proceed, the AP reports. Moody dismissed the state Supreme Court as a whole from the suit over its order last year keeping Griffen from hearing cases involving the death penalty.

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Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 13:06:00

State Supreme Court does away with state Whistle-Blower Act, according to dissenting justice

In a 5-2 decision today, the Arkansas Supreme Court neutered the Arkansas Whistle-Blower Act. The high court ruled that a former employee of the Department of Arkansas Community Corrections, who alleged she was fired for protesting workplace discrimination and participating in an investigation to uncover further discrimination, could not find relief in the Whistle-Blower Act because of sovereign immunity. 

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018 - 13:23:00

Black officers file suit against LRPD, alleging discrimination

Saying the Little Rock Police Department is riddled with racism and racial discrimination, attorney Mike Laux announced this morning that he has filed suit against the city on behalf of three black LRPD officers and one former LRPD officer who say they were discriminated against by the LRPD through a pattern of lack of promotions, lower salaries and uneven discipline when compared to their white counterparts on the force. Laux said two other black officers will join the plaintiffs once they receive approval to sue from the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 15:02:00

Rutledge: AG's office will investigate drug makers over opioid addiction in Arkansas

Citing what she called "staggering statistics," including Arkansas's #2 ranking for overall opioid prescriptions, and top ranking in the number of teens abusing prescription painkillers, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announce today that her office will investigate the corporate manufacturers of opioid drugs, bringing on extra help from private firms, with an eye toward potential litigation or prosecutions.

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017 - 12:43:00

Governor directs Health Department to resume issuing birth certificates under revised procedures

Birth certificates are once again being issued at the Health Department after a brief halt due to a judge's order. Gov. Hutchinson today sent the Health Department a directive for new procedures in order to comply with the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 15:20:00

Griffen files federal civil rights lawsuit over Good Friday vigil punishment

Calling what happened to the product of "a lynch mob mentality" and the result of a weekend of conspiratorial conversations between members of the Arkansas State Supreme Court, firebrand Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen held a press conference today to announce the filing of a federal civil rights lawsuit over being stripped of his ability to hear cases related to the death penalty, following a Good Friday vigil in which Griffen lay on a cot in front of the Governor's mansion.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 17:34:00

Family of man shot by LRPD claims cruiser dashcam video confirms their account

Attorneys for the family of a man killed by an LRPD officer in October 2016 allege that a video released to the media yesterday, shot from a dashcam in the officer's cruiser, both proves the family's account of the shooting and shows that the LRPD didn't fully comply with the state Freedom of Information Act when the family requested all materials related to the case. Attorneys for the family say the video was not included in materials released to them following a recent FOIA request.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 13:35:00

Former Garland Co. Admin. Asst, dog tuxedo fan, pleads guilty to making $162K in fraudulent credit card charges

A former administrative assistant in the Garland County Judge's office who used part of the $162,598 she put on county credit to buy, among other things, a tuxedo for her Pug, plead guilty yesterday to six felony counts of fraudulent use of a credit card.

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday, September 8, 2017 - 11:32:00

Former chief justice of Arkansas Supreme Court dishes on court dysfunction

Once again, those invested in the ongoing internal dysfunction at the Arkansas Supreme Court have some juicy reading. A pair of oral history interviews with recently retired justices Howard Brill and Cliff Hoofman have been posted to a growing collection of oral histories with retired Arkansas Supreme Court justices.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 16:04:00

Judge Bobby McCallister responds to JDDC allegations, denies allegations he failed to pay state, federal taxes

Saline County Circuit Judge Bobby McCallister has responded to a raft of allegations investigators with the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission lodged against him in July regarding his alleged failure to file state and federal income taxes. In the response, McCallister denies the JDDC's allegation that he failed to file or pay state and federal taxes for over 20 years, and requests a hearing.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017 - 19:46:00

Alleged LRPD brutality civil suit in federal court: Day One

Some tense moments in federal court today as attorneys squared off for a federal civil trial sought by a Little Rock man who was pummeled by a Little Rock police lieutenant  in October 2011 outside a restaurant on Kavanaugh Boulevard. As seen in a bystander's video of the incident, Chris Erwin was struck at least 7 times in the face by Little Rock Police Lt. David Hudson outside Hillcrest's Ferneau restaurant on Oct. 29, 2011. Hudson was working off-duty security at the restaurant at the time.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 16:38:00

Federal judge dismisses lawsuit over Sherwood's hot check court

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed last August against the city of Sherwood over a hot check court attorneys say operated as an unconstitutional "debtor's prison" that trapped poor defendants on a treadmill of debt and incarceration for years and in some cases, decades.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday, April 28, 2017 - 12:38:00

Gov. Hutchinson on last night's execution: went according to protocol, no need for an independent investigation

At a press conference this morning at the State Capitol, Governor Asa Hutchinson said that there would be no need for an independent review of last night's execution of death row inmate Kenneth Williams or even a written report, calling such an investigation "totally unjustified" even though witnesses said that as the deadly drugs were administered, Williams convulsed for ten seconds and coughed and made other noises loud enough to be heard through the plate glass separating the execution chamber and the witness room.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 16:49:00

Griffen asks probe of Ark. Supreme Court and AG's office conduct

At a press conference today at the Doubletree Hotel just across from the Pulaski County Courthouse, Pulaski County Fifth Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen and his attorneys announced that he has asked the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to investigate the conduct of the entire Arkansas Supreme Court, and asked the director of the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct to investigate the conduct of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and several others in the AG's office, related to what Griffen and his attorneys claim were forbidden ex parte conversations between the Supreme Court and the AG's office.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 16:12:00

Judicial Discipline admonishes Judge over DWI, reckless driving conviction

David Sachar with the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission announced today that a letter of admonishment has been issued to Fifth Judicial Circuit Judge William "Bill" Pearson, who blew through a DWI checkpoint near Clarksville in January before leading police on a short pursuit until a State Trooper disabled his truck by running into it.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 14:04:00

Mother Jones on the fallibility of forensic science, and efforts by AG Sessions to halt reform

Given that we've been trying to execute eight men in recent weeks, with several of their cases hinging on forensic evidence collected after the crime, you might want to read this story from Mother Jones on the fallibility of forensic science, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to disband a panel of lawyers, scientists, judges, crime lab technicians, law enforcement officers, and academics who meet quarterly with the goal of putting more scientific rigor into evidence analysis and the courtroom testimony often used to incriminate and convict defendants.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - 10:25:00

Clarksville judge pleads guilty to two counts related to January DWI case

Clarksville Circuit Judge William "Bill" Pearson plead guilty to two misdemeanors on Monday, including DWI and reckless driving, relating to a Jan. 20 incident in which he blew through a DWI checkpoint before leading officers on a chase of over a mile near Clarksville.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 15:42:00

UPDATE Attorneys for Ledell Lee argue they should be allowed to locate, test DNA evidence collected in 1993 as part of innocence claim

In a hearing this afternoon before Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herbert Wright, attorneys for death row inmate Ledell Lee argued that they should be allowed to locate evidence collected prior to his arrest in 1993, including a single hair and a Converse shoe with a pinhead-sized spot of human blood on it, for modern DNA testing. They hope testing can prove Lee's innocence by showing that the African-American hair found at the crime scene belongs to someone other than Lee, and that the speck of blood found on Lee's shoe does not belong to the victim in the case.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 13:46:00

UPDATE Attorneys for death row inmate Marcel Williams argue execution would violate constitutional rights due physical condition

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker is hearing arguments today from attorneys for Marcel Williams, who contend that due to his physical condition, the lethal injection scheduled for this coming Monday could risk a botched or agonizingly slow and painful execution, in violation of his constitutional rights under the Eighth Amendment.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 09:18:00

ACLU files for stay of execution for Ledell Lee

The ACLU has taken over the representation of death row inmate Ledell Lee, currently scheduled to be executed on Thursday, and today filed for a stay of execution.

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