LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) A federal judge is refusing to recuse himself from a lawsuit filed by a former colleague against Arkansas Supreme Court justices who disqualified him from death row cases.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen asked U.S. District Court Judge James Moody Jr. to step aside from the case. Moody refused on Thursday.
Griffen's lawsuit accuses the seven justices of violating state and federal laws by disqualifying him in April from presiding over cases involving the death penalty or Arkansas' lethal-injection protocol.
The disqualification came after Griffen attended a prayer vigil outside the governor's mansion to oppose executions.
Griffen says Moody should recuse himself from the case because they once worked alongside each other. Moody maintains he'll preside over the case "fairly and impartially."
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