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Death Penalty

Arkansas Attorneys Represent Defendants Facing the Death Penalty

Representing capital murder suspects in Little Rock, Fayetteville and Conway

The Arkansas Public Defender Commission has certified the James Law Firm to represent defendants charged with capital murder. We understand the great responsibility that goes along with defending those whose very lives are on the line. When everything’s at stake, you need a strong and experienced advocate. Your attorney must know the law and the facts of your case, and be prepared to out-work the prosecution. Regardless of whether a family member asks us to intervene for a loved one or we are appointed by the court, our hard-working attorneys give our clients all we’ve got.

What are capital murder offenses in Arkansas?

Amid repeated constitutional challenges, no one has been executed in Arkansas since 2005. As recently as June 2012, the state Supreme Court ruled that the current execution law is unconstitutional. But Arkansas’s capital murder law is still on the books. It authorizes the death penalty when a person, with “extreme indifference to the value of human life,” kills someone while committing or attempting to commit any of the following felonies:

  • Terrorism
  • Murder for hire
  • Premeditated murder
  • Murder of a minor younger than 14
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Vehicular piracy
  • Drug trafficking
  • First-degree escape
  • Arson
  • Robbery
  • Aggravated robbery
  • Residential burglary
  • Commercial burglary
  • Aggravated residential burglary
  • Murder of any law enforcement officer, jailer, prison official, firefighter, judge or other court official, probation officer, parole officer, military personnel, teacher or school employee, or public official

Are there special procedures in a capital murder case?

If the jury in a capital murder trial votes to convict, the trial goes into a second phase, in which the homicide defense attorneys may present evidence of mitigating circumstances and the prosecution presents evidence of aggravating circumstances.

Evidence of mitigating circumstances does not have to meet the rules governing the admissibility of evidence in a regular criminal trial. Mitigating evidence can address the nature and circumstances of the crime, as well as the defendant’s character, background, history, and mental and physical condition.

The prosecution’s evidence relating to aggravating circumstances, however, must comply with the rules governing the admissibility of evidence in a regular criminal trial.

We have provided high-stakes criminal defense in Arkansas since 1994

At the James Law Firm, we are not intimidated by the magnitude of the charges against you. Our attorneys and staff work with a common purpose —  your acquittal. Call (501) 375-0900 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Hablamos español.

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    This firm is 5*. We hired them on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning they called with information on my case. This firm is dedicated to their clients. Bill James is awesome !

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    Very responsive to the needs of my clients in domestic abuse cases.

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    Patty James 'ROCKS'! She was the answer to all of my prayers. I know for a fact that GOD sent her to me. I felt protected with her. I felt that all I needed to do was leave everything in her hands and she would take care of the problem, and she did E...

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