Arkansas Supreme Court bars judge from hearing death penalty cases after protest participation 

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Lindsay Millar for the Arkansas Times.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has barred Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen from hearing any cases involving the death penalty or the state’s execution protocol. The Court said it would reassign cases currently before Griffen. 

The per curiam order cites the preamble of the Arkansas Code of Judicial Conduct:

“Judges should maintain the dignity of judicial office at all times, and avoid both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in their professional and personal lives. They should aspire at all times to conduct that ensures the greatest possible public confidence in their independence, impartiality, integrity, and confidence.”

The Court referred Griffen to the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission (JDDC) to consider whether he violated the Code of Judicial Conduct.

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