Arkansas Executions 2017

Wendell Griffen
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A handful of state lawmakers are calling for Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen’s impeachment amid questions of his fitness to serve on the bench.

Griffen on Tuesday repeated his April 2017 protest of laying on a cot in front of the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, intending to symbolize a condemned inmate on a gurney.

State Sen. Trent Garner (R-Camden), who called for Griffen’s impeachment following last year’s protest, said Griffen’s vocal objection to capital punishment is one of many questionable actions and public statements made during Griffen’s tenure.

Wendell Griffen
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

An Arkansas judge's efforts to obtain documents and testimony from the state Supreme Court on its decision to bar him from hearing any death penalty cases has been put on hold.

The high court asked for the delay until a federal judge decides whether to allow a lawsuit against the justices to proceed.

U.S. District Judge James M. Moody Jr. on Monday granted a request to temporarily stay discovery in Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen's lawsuit. That suit challenges justices' decision to bar him from any cases involving the death penalty.

Varner Arkansas Department of Correction Cummins Prison
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A lawyer for an Arkansas inmate who came within hours of being put to death last year has told the state Supreme Court that for three decades it has been misinterpreting a ruling that sets when death row inmates should have access to mental health experts.

Bruce Ward was among eight inmates set for execution last April. Justices issued a stay for him and Don Davis while the U.S. Supreme Court took up a similar case from Alabama. In arguments Thursday, lawyer Scott Braden said Ward never had access to a fully independent mental examiner.

Wendell Griffen
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

An Arkansas judge disqualified from handling execution cases after participating in an anti-death penalty demonstration says his lawsuit against the state's highest court should be allowed to move forward.

Attorneys for Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen asked a federal court Tuesday to deny motions by state Supreme Court justices to dismiss his lawsuit challenging his disqualification.

Arkansas Death Chamber Lethal Injection
Arkansas Department of Correction

The state of Arkansas has identified a New York pharmaceutical company – that doesn’t want its product used in executions – as the manufacturer of a recently acquired lethal injection drug. Arkansas was to carry out an execution Thursday night before the state Supreme Court granted an emergency stay based on questions about the mental health of death row inmate Jack Greene.

Jack Greene
Arkansas Department of Correction

The execution of Arkansas death row inmate Jack Greene has been halted by the state Supreme Court. Justices granted an emergency stay on Tuesday for the execution slated for Thursday night. Greene’s attorneys argue he suffers from extreme mental illness and wouldn’t rationally understand his execution.

His legal team asked the state’s highest court to review a lower court ruling that the state’s prison director – not a medical professional – has the authority to determine whether a person is mentally competent to stand for execution.

Jack Greene
Arkansas Department of Correction

An Arkansas inmate scheduled to receive a lethal injection this week has asked the state's highest court to halt his execution amid his attorneys' claims that he doesn't understand why he is to be put to death.

Attorneys for Jack Greene asked the state Supreme Court on Monday to issue an emergency stay of execution. Greene is scheduled to be executed Thursday night for the 1991 death of Sidney Burnett, who was beaten with a can of hominy, stabbed and later shot.

Jack Greene
Arkansas Department of Correction

Groups of lawyers and mental health professionals want Arkansas' governor to stop the scheduled execution of Jack Greene, saying the inmate is mentally ill.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he is reviewing Greene's case.

The inmate is scheduled to die Nov. 9 for the 1991 death of Sidney Burnett. Prosecutors say Greene beat Burnett with a can of hominy before slitting his throat and shooting him.

Jack Greene
Arkansas Department of Correction

The Arkansas Parole Board says a man scheduled to die next month for killing a man who had helped him out does not deserve to have his sentence reduced to a life term.

Jack Greene is set to die Nov. 9 at the Cummins Unit prison at Varner, southeast of Little Rock. He was convicted in the 1991 death of Sidney Burnett, who was beaten with a can of hominy and then stabbed.

The board said Thursday that it would recommend that Gov. Asa Hutchinson let the death sentence stand.

Matt Mershon / KATV

As the Nov. 9 execution date for convicted killer Jack Greene draws near, the Arkansas Parole Board is considering whether to recommend the governor grant him clemency.

Jack Gordon Greene was convicted in 1992 of murdering pastor Sidney Burnett at his home near Clarksville. Greene bound, stabbed, and beat Burnett to death just three days after murdering his own brother, Tommy, in North Carolina.

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