High court won’t hear anti-death penalty Arkansas judge suit

FILE - In this Aug. 17, 2018, file photo, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen holds a copy of the U.S. Constitution at a news conference in Little Rock, Ark. The Supreme Court is leaving in place a decision dismissing a lawsuit filed by a judge in Arkansas who was barred from overseeing execution-related cases after he participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo, File) –The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is leaving in place a decision dismissing a lawsuit filed by a judge in Arkansas who was barred from overseeing execution-related cases after he participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration.

The justices said Tuesday that they wouldn’t get involved in the lawsuit filed by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen.

Griffen participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration outside the governor’s mansion in 2017 during which he was photographed laying on a cot wearing an anti-death penalty button. Earlier that day, Griffen blocked Arkansas from using a lethal injection drug over the claims that the state misled a medical supply company.

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Arkansas’ highest court removed Griffen from that case and prohibited him from hearing death penalty cases. Griffen sued, but a federal appeals court dismissed the case.

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