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Arkansas Attorney General Won't Comment on Gambling Law

3 December 2003

ARKANSAS – As reported by the Pine Bluff Commercial: "Attorney General Mike Beebe has turned down a request for an opinion on the constitutionality of a state gambling law.

"State Rep. Preston Scroggin of Vilonia made the request on behalf of the Arkansas Sheriffs Association, specifically saying that from the language of the statute, `the probable cause requirement of the Fourth Amendment has been left out.'

"In his response, Beebe said `it has long been the attorney general's policy, as an officer of the executive branch of government, to refrain from rendering opinions on matters that are pending before the courts for determination.'

"The law requires a sheriff or deputy sheriff to immediately proceed to a gambling house if he or she knows or is told of its existence, and arrest the person or persons operating the house.

"…In his request, Scroggin said the law requires a sheriff or deputy sheriff to make a warrantless arrest `when he is told or informed about a suspected gambling operation. The Sheriffs Association believes any valid arrest requires that probable cause be present before or after an arrest is made.'…"

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