Alabama Supreme Court

The Alabama Supreme Court has stayed the trial of a Montgomery police officer facing murder charges.

Aaron Cody Smith was scheduled to go to trial Monday on murder charges for the 2016 shooting of 58-year-old Greg Gunn. Yesterday, state Supreme Court justices stayed the trial to consider his appeal on a number of issues.

Smith's attorneys argue he should be immune from prosecution because he was acting in self-defense.

They also argue the trial judge tainted the jury pool with comments about the case.

Republican voters in Alabama are heading to the polls once again to set the final tickets ahead of November's general election.

They'll be taking part in several heated Republican runoffs for statewide office and in the race for a U.S. Congressional seat in south Alabama.

Armed with an endorsement from President Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is trying to stave off a challenge from former congressman Bobby Bright and a voter backlash over her criticism of Trump during his Presidential campaign.

Justice Glenn Murdock is stepping down from the Alabama Supreme Court.  

Murdock announced his resignation Thursday in a letter to Governor Kay Ivey. Murdock said his resignation will be effective on Jan. 16.

The state of Alabama has set a date for the execution of a terminally ill man.

Al.com reports the Alabama Supreme Court ordered yesterday that 60-year-old Doyle Lee Hamm is scheduled to be put to death on February 22. Hamm has spent 30 years on Alabama’s death row.

He was convicted in the murder of Patrick Cunningham, a hotel employee in Cullman, Alabama. Cunningham was killed during a robbery that apparently netted just over 400 dollars. Hamm confessed to the murder, and two other men agreed to testify against him in exchange for lesser charges.

Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall has filed lawsuits against several casinos in Alabama, saying they are operating illegal slot machines under the guise of electronic bingo.

Yesterday, Marshall’s office filed lawsuits in five counties seeking to shut down the electronic bingo operations. Marshall says the Alabama Supreme Court has made abundantly clear that the machines are illegal.

Two Alabama death row inmates are asking the state Supreme Court to halt their executions scheduled for next month.  

 Lawyers on Wednesday asked the Alabama Supreme Court to stop the executions since the 11th Circuit Court ordered hearings in a separate lawsuit challenging the humaneness of the state's lethal injection procedure.

AP

Primary elections for the race to fill Jeff Sessions’ former U.S. Senate seat are taking place a week from today, and one candidate just picked up a high-profile endorsement.

Martial artist and action star Chuck Norris has announced his support for former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, according to multiple news outlets. Norris is best known for starring in “Walker, Texas Ranger” and is a longtime supporter of the former chief justice.

An inmate once called the "Houdini" of Alabama's death row for escaping seven past execution dates was put to death early this morning for a 1982 contract killing.

Tommy Arthur, 75, was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. this morning following a lethal injection, according to correctional authorities said. Arthur was convicted of killing riverboat engineer Troy Wicker, who was fatally shot as he slept in his bed in Muscle Shoals.

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is running for the U.S. Senate.

Moore made the announcement on the steps of the Alabama Capitol this afternoon.

Speculation has swirled that Moore might run for another office after being suspended from the bench.

Moore will run in what is expected to be a crowded GOP primary to fill the seat vacated by now U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The United States Supreme Court will not reconsider the appeal of an Alabama death row inmate scheduled to be executed next month.

Yesterday, Supreme Court justices refused the rehearing request by Tommy Arthur, who has had seven execution dates postponed so far.

Roy Moore
AP

The Alabama Supreme Court has upheld the suspension of Chief Justice Roy Moore due to his actions following a landmark legal decision allowing gay marriage in the state.

The specially-appointed court issued their ruling yesterday afternoon. Judges upheld the findings that Chief Justice Moore violated judicial ethics, and that his suspension for the remainder of his term on the court was justified.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley recently turned over lots of documents to a committee investigating the possibility of his impeachment. But he says those documents will not be made available to the public.

Yesterday, a spokeswoman for the Governor said the materials "will not be made public at this time." Several news organizations had requested copies of the documents given to the Alabama House Judiciary Committee.

Alabama death row
EJI

The state of Alabama is preparing to execute a death row inmate who was convicted in the 1982 killing of a man in a murder-for-hire arrangement.

Tommy Arthur is scheduled to receive a lethal injection at 6 p.m. this evening.

Arthur, now 74, was convicted of murdering Troy Wicker in 1982 as the man slept inside his Muscle Shoals home. Investigators said Arthur was having an affair with Wicker's wife. She later testified that she promised him $10,000 to kill her husband.

Judges to be picked Thursday to hear Moore appeal

Oct 25, 2016

Judges will be named this week to hear suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's bid to return to the bench.

Alabama Supreme Court Acting Chief Justice Lyn Stuart says in a Tuesday order the judges for Moore's appeal will be randomly selected Thursday afternoon in a public proceeding at the Alabama Judicial Building.

A judicial panel last month suspended Moore for the remainder of his term after finding he urged state probate judges to defy the federal courts on gay marriage. Moore is appealing the decision.

A panel of retired Alabama judges will be the ones to hear suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore's bid to return to the bench.

Yesterday, the current justices on the Alabama Supreme Court announced they will recuse themselves from hearing Moore's appeal because their impartiality might be questioned.

Moore won't remove items from courthouse office

Oct 19, 2016

Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has not cleared out his courthouse office despite a request by the acting chief justice to remove his personal items.

Moore is appealing his suspension from the bench. He says he has several large paintings, a grandfather clock and other items that cannot be quickly removed.

Acting Chief Justice Lyn Stuart asked Moore to clear out his office by Tuesday evening. Moore's lawyers have asked the Alabama Supreme Court to overrule Stuart.

Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is being forced to clear out his office in the state judicial building today.

It’s a move that Moore’s attorney Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel says is intended to “humiliate” Moore. Staver and other attorneys have asked the Alabama Supreme Court to allow Moore to keep his personal effects in his office while he appeals his suspension from the court.

Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended last month for his stand against same-sex marriage in Alabama.

Now the remaining members of the Supreme Court are kicking him out of the courthouse. Moore’s attorneys say he received two letters earlier this week from the acting head of the Supreme Court Lyn Stuart.

They say he has to remove all his belongings from the state courthouse and turn in his keys by next Tuesday. Moore’s three law clerks were also fired, and his name was removed from the Supreme Court letterhead.

Ambrosia Starling
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Roy Moore is no longer serving as the Chief Justice of Alabama.

On September 30, a majority of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary decided to suspend Moore for the remainder of his six-year term as punishment for ethics violations. The charges relate to Moore’s role in the controversy over same-sex marriage in Alabama.

APR’s Alex AuBuchon has been following the Chief Justice’s case. He has this report on reactions to the trial and what may be coming next.

Stuart takes helm of Alabama Supreme Court

Oct 7, 2016

The Alabama Supreme Court has its acting chief justice.

Lyn Stuart is being elevated to the position after former Chief Justice Roy Moore was permanently suspended from the court.  Moore is appealing the ruling.

Stuart is the senior member of the Supreme Court.  She has led the state’s highest court since May after Moore was initially suspended for ethics violations.  She has served on the Alabama Supreme Court since 2000.

Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is starting the appeal of the judicial ethics conviction that led to his ouster.

Moore's attorneys filed a notice with the Alabama Supreme Court yesterday.  The eight remaining justices on the state Supreme Court will consider his prosecution and conviction.

Moore is challenging the Alabama Court of the Judiciary’s ruling on charges of violating judicial ethics. The court ruled that Moore overstepped bounds with an order he issued last year about same-sex marriage.

The Alabama Supreme Court is upholding the state’s controversial death penalty sentencing structure. This policy was the subject of parts one and three of Alabama Public Radio’s on-going series on justice reform and prison reform. At issue, is a statute that allows Alabama judges to overrule a jury’s recommendation of life in prison in favor of the death penalty. Alabama is the State that does this after Florida’s policy was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, and Delaware declared its own statute to be unconstitutional.

Moore issues statement after court ruling

Sep 30, 2016

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore issued a statement after being permanently suspended as Alabama chief justice for ethics violations.

Moore is calling his punishment Friday by Alabama's Court of the Judiciary the result of a "politically motivated effort by radical homosexual and transgender groups," who targeted him because of what he calls his "outspoken opposition to their immoral agenda."

Moore was removed from the bench Friday for defying the U.S. Supreme Court on gay marriage.

Alabama’s Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has been immediately suspended for the rest of his term without pay. Moore was found guilty of all six charges leveled against him.

Prosecutors said Moore issued an order to the state’s sixty-eight probate judges in January to defy the U.S. Supreme Court ruling declaring same sex marriage legal nationwide. 

Moore was removed from office in 2003 in a dispute over a granite monument of the Ten Commandments. This judicial ethics court did not have the unanimous support necessary to permanently  remove Moore.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is set to appear in court tomorrow morning. He’s facing judicial ethics violations that could result in his removal from the state Supreme Court. The charges date back to the legal controversy and confusion over same-sex marriage in Alabama earlier this year, and Moore’s personal battle against it.

Chief Justice Moore has some history with this court. In 2003, he was removed from office for unrelated judicial ethics violations. APR’s Alex AuBuchon has the latest on Chief Justice Moore’s case and what to expect tomorrow.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore heads to court this week on accusations that he misused his office to try to block gay couples from marrying in Alabama.

The Alabama Court of the Judiciary, a panel that disciplines judges, on Wednesday will hear testimony and arguments in the case against Moore.    

The Judicial Inquiry Commission in May accused Moore of violating the canons of judicial ethics. The charges stem from his January order to probate judges that a state court order to marriage licenses to gay couples remained in effect.

VictoryLand Casino is expected to reopen today, more than three years after state authorities raided it and shut it down.

Owner Milton McGregor announced last month that VictoryLand would have a soft reopening on September 13. At that time, he said the bingo parlor would hire around 200 employees and would have around 500 electronic bingo machines for patrons. He says the casino plans to expand over the coming months.

Suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore will appear before the Alabama Court of the Judiciary this afternoon.

Moore is facing judicial ethics violations that could result in his removal from the head of the Alabama Supreme Court. The charges stem from an order Moore gave the state's probate judges back in January encouraging them not to issue same-sex marriage licenses. That was in defiance of a U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

A hearing Monday will determine the course of the judicial ethics case against suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.

The Alabama Court of the Judiciary is set to consider a request by judicial investigators to convict Moore of violating canons of conduct without a trial. That could result in Moore's immediate removal from office.

 

Moore opposes the request, and lawyers will present arguments during a hearing. The court says Moore's trial will begin September 28th if the case continues.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he is calling a special legislative session for a state lottery. APR’s MacKenzie Bates has the details.

Bentley's office released a video yesterday saying he wants lawmakers to approve legislation that would let voters decide whether to green-light a constitutional amendment to allow a lottery.

Bentley says the time has come to find a permanent solution to fix some of the state’s financial issues.

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