Document Type


Publication Date

January 2013


Gangs in Arkansas became an increasing problem in the 1990s. A 1994 HBO-produced documentary titled Gang War: Bangin’ in Little Rock confirmed as much by taking viewers inside the death and destruction caused by warring gang factions. In response to the problem, the Arkansas legislature enacted the Arkansas Criminal Gang, Organization, or Enterprise Act. This Article argues that the Arkansas Supreme Court’s interpretation of the phrase “predicate criminal offense” in that Act violates the due process clause by allowing the prosecution to prove a substantive criminal offense using a burden of proof below reasonable doubt. Part I briefly discusses the statutory scheme and its background. Part II then outlines the Arkansas Supreme Court’s problematic 1998 decision in Garling v. State. Part III then explains how the union of the Act alongside the Garling decision violates due process.

Included in

Law Commons