Arkansas Judge: Order Guided By Law, Not Execution Views

Apr 19, 2017

Judge Wendell Griffen

An Arkansas judge who participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration after issuing an order blocking the state's executions is defending the move, saying his ruling was guided by property law and not his views on capital punishment.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen wrote in a blog post Wednesday that he was portraying Jesus when he lay on a cot for an hour and a half outside the governor's mansion after he issued the order last week barring Arkansas from using one of its execution drugs. The state Supreme Court on Monday lifted Griffen's order and prohibited the judge from considering any death penalty-related cases.

The Arkansas Supreme Court halted a double execution the state planned Monday night. The state vows to move forward with another double execution Thursday.