Arkansas judge pulled from death penalty cases seeks probe

Sherry Simon via AP

LITTLE ROCK — An Arkansas judge who blocked the state’s executions the same day he participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration is asking two state panels to investigate the attorney general’s office and the state Supreme Court for his removal from considering any capital punishment cases.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen on Wednesday accused Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and the court of violating ethics rules, saying neither gave him a chance to respond to efforts to disqualify him from death penalty cases in last week’s order.

Griffen issued an order blocking Arkansas from using a lethal injection drug, then was seen laying on a cot outside the governor’s mansion during a death penalty protest.

The court lifted Griffen’s order the same day it prohibited him from handling execution cases.