Special Counsel Named For Cases Involving Arkansas Judge

Jul 7, 2017

Judge Wendell Griffen taking part in a death penalty protest in April, lying down on a cot, mimicking an inmate strapped to an execution gurney.
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Attorneys from Mississippi and Arkansas have been named by a judicial ethics panel as special counsel to handle cases related to a judge who participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration after he blocked the state from using an execution drug.

The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission announced Friday that Rachel Michel and J. Brent Standridge had been named to handle the complaints related to Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen. Michel is the senior staff attorney for the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance. Standridge practices law in Benton.

The panel is investigating Griffen as well as his complaint against the state Supreme Court over its decision to bar him from death penalty cases. The commission's top two officials recused themselves from the cases in May.