The Arkansas Court of Appeals had a slow criminal day. They published three cases: Arnold, Bass, and Bates. Arnold involved an interesting speedy trial issue. The case was affirmed upon the rule that time spent awaiting a proceeding on other charges is excluded. Bass was nothing more than a failure to report revocation, where the appellant claimed he did not know he needed to do so.
However, Bates is an interesting case. Bates was convicted of negligent homicide and aggravated assault and sentenced to 16 yrs in ADC. Her contention on appeal was that it was error for the court to allow the admission of her blood-alcohol level, because the blood was not taken by a physician or someone under the authority of a physician. Arkansas Code Annotated section 5-65-204(d)(i) specifically provides that, when a person submits to a blood test at the request of a law enforcement officer under a provision of this section, blood may be drawn by a physician or a person acting under the direction and supervision of a physician. There was no testimony showing that the person who took the blood did so under the supervision or direction of a physician. The court ultimately affirmed the conviction finding it harmless error. Apart from the blood test, there was a breadth of evidence showing that Bates had consumed a substantial amount of alcohol prior to operating the vehicle. BTW her blood-alcohol level was .27…never a good idea.
For me, today was as busy as ever. I finished the initial brief in two appeals. I have a solid argument in each. One focuses on the attorney/client privilege, and the other is a run of the mill constructive possession case. Tomorrow, the State files their brief in Van Kirk, which I look forward to reviewing and sharing with the blog.