LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Supreme Court says it won’t disqualify itself from considering whether to allow a judge who participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration the same day he blocked the state from using a lethal injection drug to resume handling execution cases again.
Justices on Thursday denied Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen’s request that they recuse themselves from his case. The court prohibited him from handling execution cases after he was photographed lying on a cot outside the governor’s mansion during the demonstration in April 2017.
A disciplinary panel in June dismissed an ethics case against Griffen over the demonstration, and Griffen asked the court to allow him to preside over execution cases again.
The court did not elaborate on its reason for denying the request.