Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

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GIFT WRAPPED: Judge Wendell Griffen portraying a condemned prisoner on a gurney at anti-death penalty demonstration last Friday outside Governor's Mansion. - MITCHELL MCCOY/KARK
  • Mitchell McCoy/KARK
  • GIFT WRAPPED: Judge Wendell Griffen portraying a condemned prisoner on a gurney at anti-death penalty demonstration last Friday outside Governor's Mansion.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen
, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning. Last Friday, Griffen issued a temporary restraining order against the state from using vecuronium bromide in executions after drug supplier McKesson filed a lawsuit. The same afternoon, he protested in front of the Governor's Mansion "in solidarity with Jesus," as he later wrote. The Arkansas Supreme Court banned him from hearing any cases and referred him to the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to consider whether he violated the Code of Judicial Conduct.

From his blog post:

Perhaps nothing exposes our blindness about power, love, and justice more than how societies treat marginalized and vulnerable people. I wonder if we see God in the people we deem unworthy.

Do we see God in people without healthy food? Do we see God in people who do not have clean water? Do we see God in homeless people? Do we see God in sick people?

Do we see God in people we mass incarcerate and kill in the name of empire? Do we see God in immigrants we refuse to welcome?

Do we see God in people who are desperate, destitute, hated, and helpless?

...

I am struck by the moral and ethical inconsistency of people who insist that justice requires society to kill people who are condemned because they killed others.

Yet, we somehow realize it is unjust to rape people who commit rape.

Somehow, we understand it is unjust to torch the homes of people who commit arson.

Somehow, we know it is not right to plunder the belongings of thieves.

Somehow, we recoil at the idea that justice requires society to order agents of government – our political empire – to molest children whose parents molest children to show we condemn child molestation.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Lord, when did we see you…?

The State of Arkansas killed Ledell Davis last night. It is easy to recognize that was a political act, meaning an act done in the name of official policy as an expression of our sense of empire.

It is not easy to recognize another truth.

There are beings we refuse to see. 



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