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Hobbs v. Jones

Supreme Court of Arkansas
412 S.W.3d 844 (2012)


The Arkansas legislature enacted a statute making lethal injection the manner by which death sentences were to be carried out. The statute delegated the power to select appropriate lethal-injection chemicals and procedures to the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC), an executive-branch agency. The statute listed several acceptable chemicals, but the ADC was free to use those or any other chemicals it chose. The ADC adopted a regulation specifying the chemicals and procedures to be used in executing death-row inmates, one of whom was Jack Harold Jones (plaintiff). Jones sued the ADC's director, Ray Hobbs (defendant). Jones alleged that the ADC regulation was invalid because the legislature could not delegate its authority to the ADC without violating the state constitution's separation-of-powers clause. The trial court ruled that the statute was unconstitutional, and Hobbs appealed to the Supreme Court of Arkansas.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Gunter, J.)

Dissent (Baker, J.)

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