Oh, those tickets
Gov. Asa Hutchinson wisely avoided comment on the DWI conviction dismissed against his 41-year-old son the other day as much of the state was chattering like a house of feathery martins about the weirdness surrounding that case.
Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay decided to overturn the November conviction of attorney William Asa Hutchinson III on charges of DWI, careless and prohibited driving and refusal to submit to chemical testing, stemming from a single-vehicle accident on Interstate 49 in Fayetteville.
Ace reporter Bill Bowden’s detailed account helped clear the confusion; well, some of it anyway.
It seems state trooper Joshua Arnold inexplicably completed four citations, only two numbered, and erred from the beginning when he mistakenly noted on his initial citation that Hutchinson’s Jan. 24, 2016, accident at 2:55 a.m. occurred in “daylight.”
The original ticket said the accident happened at mile marker 67 southbound. The trooper’s report noted six clues of intoxication and that Hutchinson refused to complete the field sobriety test. He also said Hutchinson told him he was headed home to Rogers in the opposite direction.
Arnold attempted to void his original citation and correct his error on the replacement to read “dark” and “Exit 67.” He filed its replacement (which Hutchinson never received) with Fayetteville’s district court where Hutchinson was tried and convicted.
Done deal? Oh, no. In a Through-The-Looking-Glass reality, the seeming conclusion of this case was but its beginning.
Hutchinson’s attorney, Chad Atwell, filed to have the case dismissed because his client never received the revised citation, and the statute of limitations on the matter had passed.
And in his research, Atwell said he also discovered two other unnumbered citations in Hutchinson’s case. That made four involving the same charges. One revised ticket read, “no signature required.”
“None of the four citations, or two numbered citations, are valid any longer,” Atwell wrote to the court. “The lack of a valid charging instrument violates defendant’s right to due process and his right to a speedy trial, and places Mr. Hutchinson in double jeopardy.” The judge agreed, saying the problem was officer error. When I’ve gotten a ticket, there’s always been just one copy involved. How about you?
More than 12 percent of Arkansas’ population reported having frequent mental distress several years back, compared to 10.7 percent nationally, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Arkansas women had a higher rate, with 14 percent, compared with men at 11 percent. Moreover, those between 25 and 34 reported the highest rate at 14.7 percent. Those 75 and above represented 6.2 percent.
A 2014 article, “Mental Health in Arkansas,” also said professionals realize mental disorders are not caused by poor upbringing, personal weakness, or lack of character. Instead, they are “biological medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and ability to function.”
Just over 26.2 percent of those 18 and older have a diagnosable mental disorder. However, only about 6 percent of the total population “has a serious mental illness,” according to the National Institute on Mental Health. And depression is the leading cause of adult disability.
Fallout from CTE
I was drawn to a story the other day because of potential serious ramifications to the future of football.
A report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed postmortem research on the brains of 202 former football players, which found evidence of the brain disease chronic traumatic enchephalopathy (CTE). It is associated with the effects of repeated head blows and concussions in practically all of them.
The debilitating brain disease can cause a range of symptoms including memory loss, radical personality changes and has even linked with suicide by former players.
The study diagnosed CTE in 177 former players—90 percent of the brains examined, including 110 of 111 from former NFL players, 48 of 53 college players, nine of 14 semi-professional players, seven of eight Canadian Football league players and three of 14 high school players.
A story also said a panel of neuropathologists used specific criteria in making their diagnosis by examining brain tissue. The NFL issued a statement saying these reports are important for advancing science related to head trauma, and that the league “will continue to work with a wide range of experts to improve the health of current and former NFL athletes.’”
The NFL earlier acknowledged a link between head blows and brain disease and agreed in a $1 billion settlement to compensate former players who’d accused the league of hiding these risks.
The AMA journal update also includes Arkansas’ All-American Ronnie Caveness, who went on to play in the American Football League.
This matter already is sending ripple effects throughout football and other organized sports. There’s no way responsible parents aren’t going to take such significant findings to heart in deciding whether their children will be joining the risk pool.