September 28, 2023

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Judge Blocks Executions Then Attends Anti-Death Penalty Rally

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An Arkansas judge halted a series of executions in Arkansas before attending an anti-death penalty rally. Some are calling his rulings judicial activism.

An Arkansas judge barred the state from executing 8 inmates last week just before tying himself to a gurney at and pretending to be a condemned man as part at an anti-death penalty rally.

Arkansas was set to execute 11-men in the next few days, but Judge Wendell Griffen, a Pulaski County circuit judge, issued a temporary restraining order that prevents Arkansas from using vercuronium bromicide–one of the state’s drugs of choice in its lethal injections.

The pharmaceutical company that makes the drugs argued that the use of its drug would create a public relations challenge, though Arkansas law prohibits the state from revealing its sources of lethal injection drugs.

Griffen told The Associated Press that his personal beliefs do not prevent him from taking up certain cases.

“We have never, in my knowledge, been so afraid to admit that people can have personal beliefs yet can follow the law, even when to follow the law means they must place their personal feelings aside,” Griffen told The AP on Saturday.


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