Arkansas Supreme Court Justices Face Ethics Charges Over Judge's Case

Sep 21, 2018

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen lying on a cot, mimicking an inmate strapped to a gurney, during an anti-death penalty demonstration last year outside the Arkansas Governor's Mansion.
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A disciplinary panel has filed ethics charges against six Arkansas Supreme Court justices over their decision to prohibit Pulaski County Circuit Judge Griffen from hearing execution cases after he took part in a death penalty demonstration last year.

The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission said the high court didn’t gave Griffen adequate notice or an opportunity to be heard over his removal from the cases. Griffen was photographed lying on a cot outside the governor's mansion last year the same day he blocked Arkansas from using an execution drug.

A complaint against a seventh justice is still pending. The case now goes to the full commission.