Judge disputes state's request for extraordinary actions in execution case | Arkansas Blog

Friday, October 16, 2015

Judge disputes state's request for extraordinary actions in execution case

Posted By on Fri, Oct 16, 2015 at 12:49 PM

Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, through his attorney, has filed a response to the state's request that the Supreme Court act on an emergency basis to overturn Griffen's temporary restraining order that halted the scheduled executions of eight Death Row inmates.

Griffen said the unusual writs of certiorari or mandamus sought by the state are reserved for cases where lower courts have acted outside their jurisdiction or in facially inappropriate ways. Griffen said the state has available a conventional appeal procedure available. He also disputed the state's argument that his order is more like an injunction because it  will be considered at a hearing in March. He said the scheduling was a result of his discretionary docket management and because attorneys hadn't completed discovery of evidence in the case.

The judge noted that the state was  aware of this lawsuit months before execution dates were set and he speculated that an effort to short-circuit the proceeding could have been a reason the governor set the dats.

The condemned men argue that the state is violating an agreement in an earlier suit by making secret information about the drugs to be used in executions. They want to be certain they are from reputable sources and of acceptable quality.

The inmates have also asked the Supreme Court to reject the state's effort to revive the execution schedule. They argue, much as the judge did, that the state is trying to avoid judicial review of the new secret process.

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