The Arkansas Supreme Court kicked off its 2011-12 term with its first oral argument in the old Supreme Court Chamber at the Arkansas State Capitol and a birthday celebration at the Arkansas Supreme Court. This week marks the 175th birthday of the Arkansas Supreme Court.
The Court handed down its first decisions for its new term on Thursday, September 8, 2011. Five cases were submitted to the Court for decision on Thursday, September 8, 2011. Of those five cases, one is a criminal appeal and four are civil matters.
The criminal appeal to be decided by the Arkansas Supreme Court this week, Lemuel Session Whiteside v. State of Arkansas, was the case that was argued orally on Thursday, September 8, 2011, in the Old Supreme Court Chamber at the State Capitol Building. Attorney Tom Sullivan represented the appellant, an Arkansas teenager who is serving a life sentence for capital murder. Sullivan argued that the sentence was unconstitutional because the appellant was a minor at the time of the crime and he did not fire the fatal shot. The Arkansas Supreme Court is expected to hand down a decision in Whiteside, as well as in the civil cases submitted to the Court this week, within the next month.