Arkansas judge barred from execution cases sues high court

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An Arkansas judge who participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration after blocking the use of a lethal injection drug is suing the state's highest court for prohibiting him from considering any execution-related cases.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen on Thursday filed a lawsuit in federal court against the seven members of the state Supreme Court who disqualified him.

In April, Griffen blocked Arkansas from using a lethal injection drug over complaints that the state misled a medical supply company. Later that day, he protested by lying on a cot outside the governor's mansion.

The court later lifted Griffen's order and barred him from hearing any death penalty cases.

Griffen accuses the high court of violating his constitutional rights to free speech and religion, and claims justices conspired against him.

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