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story.lead_photo.caption Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen lies on a cot in the role of a condemned prisoner awaiting execution during a protest outside the Governor’s Mansion in April 2017.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday declined to allow Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen to again hear death penalty cases, a decision that comes more than two years after capital cases were removed from the judge's docket following his participation in an executions protest at the Governor's Mansion.

A one-paragraph order from the court on Thursday said that the justices viewed Griffen's request as a petition for rehearing, which was not properly filed within the 18-day deadline.

Because the justices viewed the petition as late, they denied it.

Griffen and his attorneys have fought a series of legal battles against the high court since his April 2017 protest. They allege that the justices retaliated against Griffen without soliciting his defense.

At one point, the state's Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission filed ethics charges against both Griffen and all seven justices on the court. Both cases were eventually dismissed without any finding of wrongdoing.

In asking for his docket to be restored with death penalty protests, Griffen requested this summer that all of the justices recuse from considering the request.

Only Justice Josephine "Jo" Hart agreed to recuse.

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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