Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions | Arkansas Blog

Friday, April 21, 2017

Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

Posted By on Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 9:01 AM

click to enlarge GIFT WRAPPED: Judge Wendell Griffen portraying a condemned prisoner on a gurney at anti-death penalty demonstration last Friday outside Governor's Mansion. - MITCHELL MCCOY/KARK
  • Mitchell McCoy/KARK
  • GIFT WRAPPED: Judge Wendell Griffen portraying a condemned prisoner on a gurney at anti-death penalty demonstration last Friday outside Governor's Mansion.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen
, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning. Last Friday, Griffen issued a temporary restraining order against the state from using vecuronium bromide in executions after drug supplier McKesson filed a lawsuit. The same afternoon, he protested in front of the Governor's Mansion "in solidarity with Jesus," as he later wrote. The Arkansas Supreme Court banned him from hearing any cases and referred him to the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to consider whether he violated the Code of Judicial Conduct.

From his blog post:

Perhaps nothing exposes our blindness about power, love, and justice more than how societies treat marginalized and vulnerable people. I wonder if we see God in the people we deem unworthy.

Do we see God in people without healthy food? Do we see God in people who do not have clean water? Do we see God in homeless people? Do we see God in sick people?

Do we see God in people we mass incarcerate and kill in the name of empire? Do we see God in immigrants we refuse to welcome?

Do we see God in people who are desperate, destitute, hated, and helpless?


I am struck by the moral and ethical inconsistency of people who insist that justice requires society to kill people who are condemned because they killed others.

Yet, we somehow realize it is unjust to rape people who commit rape.

Somehow, we understand it is unjust to torch the homes of people who commit arson.

Somehow, we know it is not right to plunder the belongings of thieves.

Somehow, we recoil at the idea that justice requires society to order agents of government – our political empire – to molest children whose parents molest children to show we condemn child molestation.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Lord, when did we see you…?

The State of Arkansas killed Ledell Davis last night. It is easy to recognize that was a political act, meaning an act done in the name of official policy as an expression of our sense of empire.

It is not easy to recognize another truth.

There are beings we refuse to see. 

Tags: , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • The Crooks in Government Edition

    The arrest of a former Medicaid integrity director, the suspension of a major health care provider from Medicaid, the arrest of a state representative for failure to pay taxes and more — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Jun 29, 2018
  • The magic of curry paste

    Or: How lawyer-turned-Thai food evangelist Richard Glasgow learned to stop worrying and cook Thai food.
    • Jun 28, 2018
  • UPDATE: Attorney General Rutledge announces public integrity division

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced on Wednesday the creation of a Public Integrity Division within her office's existing Special Investigations Department. That department was created in 2009 to investigate cybercrimes and metal theft. The new division will have two investigators, making around $58,000. The new division will join the Ark Trust Public Corruption Task Force, which was formed in 2013 by the state's U.S. attorneys, Arkansas State Police, the FBI and local police agencies after the arrest of former State Treasurer Martha Shoffner.
    • Jun 27, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Trump's strangulation of Obamacare

    If he can't kill it outright, Donald Trump will do all he can to cripple Obamacare. Vox has detailed reporting on deep cuts in federal spending that support nonprofit agencies that help people sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation