Arkansas Judge Barred from Death Penalty Cases Sues State Supreme Court

Supreme Court

Supreme Court

Griffen, a pastor of New Millennium Church in Little Rock, further states he has been "materially harmed by the loss of prestige, job satisfaction, and job duties suffered as a result of the Arkansas Supreme Court's Order, by virtue of being barred and disqualified, forever, from hearing the most serious cases a judge can hear in Arkansas".

To ensure transparency in judicial appointments, the Supreme Court collegium has chose to disclose its rationale for recommending candidates to the government.

As per the latest decision of the collegium led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, collegiums' decisions will be uploaded online. In this regard, we have gone through the letter dated 30th January 2017 of the then Chief Justice of the Madras High Court who has duly recorded reasons for not recommending names of these Judicial Officers.

The Collegium also gives a summary one-liner on the Intelligence Bureau (IB) reports on the "personal and professional image" of the candidates who were under consideration.

About three decades after it came into existence, this paradigm shift within the collegium, critcised for its opaque mode of functioning while recommending judicial appointments, came after the recent public furore over the resignation of Karnataka HC judge Justice Jayant Patel shortly after his transfer to the Allahabad HC.

"Resolution is passed to ensure transparency and yet maintain confidentiality in the Collegium system", it read. The judge, who resigned in protest, was tipped to become the acting chief justice of the high court on October 9.

In a bid to bring in transparency in its proceedings, the Supreme Court Collegium has chose to upload on the apex court website the decisions taken by it, including on elevation, transfer and confirmation of judges.

The 13 recommendations for the appointment of judicial officers too were considered and decided during October 3 meeting of the collegium. The government brought in the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act in 2014 which was struck down a year later by the Supreme Court as "unconstitutional".

The next day, Griffen issued an order halting the execution of nine inmates in a case brought by a drug manufacturer, which asked for the move because it said its drug was never meant to be used in capital punishment.

He wants SC to declare section 354 (5) of CrPC, which says "when any person is sentenced to death, the sentence shall direct that he be hanged by the neck till he is dead", declared violative of the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Centre to respond within three weeks on a plea that sought execution of death sentence by hanging to be declared ultra vires of the Constitution.

The present procedure can be replaced with intravenous lethal injection, shooting, electrocution or gas chamber in which death is just a matter of minutes, it said. "In other words, this may include the right of a dying man to also die with dignity when his life is ebbing out", it added.

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