The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission charged Judge Wendell Griffen, a Pulaski County Circuit Judge, with violating ethics rules in June. The three- member panel cited the judge’s online and social media comments against the death penalty as evidence of an ethical violation.
“This is a case really about optics and not about ethics,” said Austin Porter Jr., Griffen’s attorney, during the commission hearing.
Arkansas executed four inmates last year using lethal injection. Judge Griffen had blocked this method of execution earlier in the year, which led to the judicial commission’s charge of ethics violations.
Griffen has appealed the initial decision and asked for full review in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals pertaining to his case.