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Events | Arts and SciencesOctober 03, 2022

Arkansas Supreme Court's Appeals on Wheels Coming to UAFS Oct. 20

Written By: Rachel Rodemann Putman

The Arkansas Supreme Court will travel to the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith on October 20th, 2022, as part of the Court’s “Appeals onWheels” program.

Appeals on Wheels is an outreach program that provides an opportunity for students to view how the Supreme Court functions up close.  Twice a year, the Supreme Court travels to different communities across the state to hold an oral argument. Although most appeals are completed in written form through briefs, oral argument provides an opportunity for the attorneys on each side of a case to further explain certain legal points and for the Justices to ask questions directly of the attorneys about material they have included in their written briefs.   

The Court will hear oral argument at 10:00 AM in the campus center Reynolds Room, concerning case CR-22-114, Shawn Cone v. State of Arkansas, an appeal from Craighead County Circuit Court. The Appellant, Mr. Cone, was convicted of capital murder, abuse of a corpse, theft of a credit or debit card, and theft of property. Mr. Cone makes several claims of error concerning his trial.

After the oral argument, the Justices will meet with student groups to answer general questions about the law, how courts work, and the role of judges.  

The public is invited to attend, but seating may be limited. Latecomers will not be allowed to enter.

The Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits the Justices from making statements in connection with cases, controversies, or issues likely to come before the court.    

The Arkansas Supreme Court is committed to providing opportunities for Arkansas citizens, particularly students, to see how the state’s highest court administers justice.  “It is important for the judicial branch of government to go out into the community and show citizens the manner in which an appellate argument is conducted,” said Chief Justice John Dan Kemp. “We do not want people to feel far removed from the judiciary. The judicial branch is essential to keeping a system of checks and balances in place. We hope that members of the public, as well as students, will attend this court hearing.”

“The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is honored to host the Arkansas Supreme Court for oral arguments on our campus,” said UAFS Chancellor Terisa Riley. “This opportunity represents our commitment to demonstrating civic responsibility for our students as well as for students from local high schools. These students will have a new framework to understand the importance of political science in our society.”

Oral arguments are usually live streamed from the courtroom of the Arkansas Supreme Court, which is located in the Justice Building, in Little Rock.  However, the October 20th oral argument will be recorded and posted at a later date to the video archives