The Arkansas Supreme Court handed down a per curiam decision today (September 18, 2008), that will result in changes to the following three rules, effective October 1, 2008: (1) Rule 4-3 of the Rules of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals; (2) Rule 4 of the Arkansas Rules of Appellate Procedure-Criminal; and (3) Rule 24.3 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Changes to Ark. Sup. Ct.R. 4-3–Briefs in Criminal Cases: The addition of subsection (f) provides that briefs containing “photographs, DVDs, or any other visual medium” that is alleged by either party to be child pornography must be sealed. It is the responsibility of counsel on appeal to file a motion to seal the brief that must accompany the brief when it is filed with the Clerk of the Court. Subsection (f) also prohibits anyone other than the court, its personnel, and the attorneys of record from receiving a copy of the brief that contains the materials to be sealed.
* The addition of subsection (f) resulted in the renumbering of the subsequent subsections–this means that the Court’s review of errors in death or life imprisonment cases will now be referred to as a Rule 4-3(i) review rather than a 4-3(h) review.
Changes to Ark. R. App. P.–Crim. R. 4–Time for filing record, contents of record: Three subsections have been added to this rule–(b), (c), (f). Subsections (b) and (c) provide a method for obtaining an extension of time to file a record in a criminal appeal. This method now allows a circuit court to grant a motion by a Defendant/Appellant who requests an extension to file the record where both sides consent to the extension. Pursuant to subsection (f), the same extension is not so easily obtained where the state is the Appellant, as subsection (f) provides that subsections (b) and (c) don’t apply to an appeal by the state.
Change to Ark. R. Crim. P. 24.3–Pleading by the Defendant: The only change here is the addition of a new Conditional Plea Form for use with Rule 24.3(b).