LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A judge who blocked Arkansas’ use of an execution drug, effectively blocking the state’s lethal injections, has retracted his request for a professional conduct investigation of state Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and members of her staff over their response to his order.

The attorney general’s office sought Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen’s removal from the execution drug case after Griffen participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration the same day as his April 16 order.

Griffen asked for the investigation April 26, saying Rutledge’s office didn’t alert him it was seeking his removal from the case. The Arkansas Supreme Court lifted Griffen’s order and disqualified him from death penalty cases.

Griffen retracted his investigation request Friday, saying he found an April 15 email on his office computer that alerted him to Rutledge’s intentions.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.