A judge, public official or any individual who has sworn under oath, is “duty bound” to respect, follow and enforce those laws, regardless of that individual’s personal view.

And so when Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen decided to get political by dramatically lying down outside the Governor’s Mansion on a cot protesting the death penalty in Arkansas, The Arkansas Supreme Court, in turn, removed the judge.

The incident began on Friday when Judge Griffen issued a restraining order in a lawsuit by McKesson Medical-Surgical, a maker of Vecuronium Bromide, one of three lethal drugs that would be used in the execution of Arkansas inmates.

However after the medical supply company filed the complaint and Judge Griffen issued a temporary restraining order that’s when the good judge crossed that invisible boundary line, from his “duty bound” role as a judge, and morphing into "political activist." And that’s when it became necessary to refer him to the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to determine whether he violated judicial conduct rules.

The temporary restraining order stopped the state from their scheduled executions of condemned inmates, which was to begin on Monday.

Moreover, the death-penalty within recent years has become an extremely emotional and political issue, and within recent months has come under heavy criticism from death-penalty proponents and activists.

Judge Griffen’s participation outside the Arkansas governor’s mansion, calls into question whether Griffen should remain on the bench

“To protect the integrity of the judicial system this court has a duty to ensure that all are given a fair and impartial tribunal,” the order from the Supreme Court said. “We find it necessary to immediately re-assign all cases in the Fifth Division that involve the death penalty or the state’s execution protocol, whether civil or criminal.”

Griffen was interviewed by the AP on Saturday, acknowledging that he is morally opposed to the death penalty. However, he said he shouldn’t be disqualified from hearing certain cases. However he didn’t speak about the protest or his involvement, and perhaps that’s the wider issue, which needs to be addressed.

Share this on Facebook if you think this overtly liberal Judge has no business deciding cases with possessing such a clear political bias.

Source: AO

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