Ethics case dropped against judge over execution protest

An Arkansas disciplinary panel has dismissed an ethics case against a judge who faced the possibility of removal from the bench for participating in an anti-death penalty demonstration the same day he blocked the state from using an execution drug.

The counsel for the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission confirmed Wednesday that the case was dismissed because too much time had passed between the complaint being filed and the commission taking up the case. Marie-Bernarde Miller said the panel would issue a written order in the next day or two.

Griffen was accused of violating ethical rules after he was photographed in April 2017 laying on a cot outside the governor’s mansion wearing an anti-death penalty button and surrounded by people holding signs opposing executions. The commission Monday cancelled Griffen’s hearing, which had been scheduled to begin Thursday.

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