Judge Griffen on Supreme Court action against him: "Everything we know about due process indicates that was unfair." | Arkansas Blog

Judge Griffen on Supreme Court action against him: "Everything we know about due process indicates that was unfair."

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PROTEST: Judge Wendell Griffen portraying a condemned prisoner on a gurney at anti-death penalty demonstration earlier this month outside Governor's Mansion. - MITCHELL MCCOY/KARK
  • Mitchell McCoy/KARK
  • PROTEST: Judge Wendell Griffen portraying a condemned prisoner on a gurney at anti-death penalty demonstration earlier this month outside Governor's Mansion.


Further comments from Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen at his blog Justice is a Verb! on the Supreme Court's ruling barring him from hearing cases involving executions, which he argues violated his due process and fundamental principles of fairness.

Earlier this month, 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 cases involving execution or the state's lethal injection process and referred him to the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to consider whether he violated the Code of Judicial Conduct.

From Griffen's post, titled "The Appearance of Fairness":

After I issued the TRO, the Attorney General petitioned the Arkansas Supreme Court to remove me from the case and vacate the TRO. In that filing, the Attorney General of Arkansas argued that I was unfit to serve as judge on the case because of my participation at the prayer vigil.

The Attorney General never filed a motion accusing me of unfairness and suggesting that I recuse before accusing me of unfairness in the Arkansas Supreme Court.

The Attorney General did not notify me about the accusation when she petitioned the Arkansas Supreme Court to remove me from the case in which I had issued the TRO.

The Arkansas Supreme Court did not notify me that the Attorney General had accused me of unfairness before it acted on the accusation.

The Arkansas Supreme Court did not afford me an opportunity to respond to the accusation before it acted on it.

The Arkansas Supreme Court removed me from the case, in effect treating the accusation of unfairness as true, despite knowing I had not been notified about it and had been afforded no opportunity to respond to it.

Everything we know about due process indicates that was unfair.
You can read the full post here.


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