Arkansas judge removed from all capital murder, death penalty cases

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Editor’s Note: The video above is from July, 2018.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has granted a petition to remove Judge Wendell Griffen from presiding over all capital-murder and death-penalty cases.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen was disqualified from hearing execution cases in 2017 following a demonstration against the death penalty outside the governor’s mansion. 

The demonstration happened the same day Griffen blocked Arkansas from using a lethal injection drug.

Griffen asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to reconsider the ruling several times, but was denied his request to hear any execution cases.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement Thursday:

“I applaud the decision today by the Arkansas Supreme Court granting our petition to confirm that Judge Wendell Griffen remains permanently disqualified from overseeing any death-penalty cases, including capital-murder cases. As the Arkansas Supreme Court has repeatedly confirmed, Judge Griffen’s inappropriate conduct demonstrates that he cannot be a fair and impartial judge when it comes to the death penalty. I will continue to fight for victims and their grieving families.”