Arkansas judge barred from death penalty cases after participating in protest
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Arkansas Supreme Court is barring a judge who blocked the state's multiple executions plan from taking up any death penalty related cases after he participated in a protest where he appeared to mimic an inmate about to receive lethal injection drugs.
Justices on Monday reassigned the cases from Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen. The judge last week prohibited the state from using a lethal injection drug a supplier said was misleadingly obtained. Griffen participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration after issuing the ruling Friday.
The state's highest court also referred Griffen to the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to consider whether he violated the code of conduct for judges.
At the demonstration, Griffen was strapped to a cot. The judge says he's morally opposed to the death penalty, but that his beliefs shouldn't prevent him from taking up certain cases.