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2013 marks a busy year for courts in Arkansas

Published On: Dec 26 2013 05:54:25 PM CST

      LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Challenges to portions of Arkansas' education system and the state's execution methods made their way through courts in 2013.
 
      A long-running desegregation lawsuit approached an apparent end after decades of state spending totaling more than $1 billion. Challenges to the state's gay-marriage ban bubbled up in state and federal court. And a group of death row inmates launched a fight over Arkansas' new lethal injection law.
 
      A federal judge in November gave preliminary approval to a settlement in a Little Rock-area desegregation suit. The judge scheduled a hearing in January to determine whether the settlement is fair to the state, the school districts, the children and educators involved in the case.
 
      In state court, nine death row inmates are suing Arkansas over an execution law that legislators enacted in 2013.