LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen said Monday he plans to retire when his term on the bench expires at the end of 2022.

Judge Griffen was first elected to the seat in 2010. “I look forward in retirement to devoting more time and energy writing, lecturing and discoursing about social justice and public theology,” he said in a statement.

The Arkansas judge was prohibited from hearing death penalty related cases after he demonstrated against executions is not seeking reelection next year.

The state Supreme Court prohibited Griffen from handling execution-related cases in April 2017 after he demonstrated against executions the same day he blocked Arkansas from using a lethal injection drug. Griffen has previously served on the state appeals court.

Griffen was appointed to the state Court of Appeals in 1995 and he was elected to a full eight-year term in 2000. He lost reelection in 2008.

As an appeals judge, Griffen battled with a judicial disciplinary panel over remarks he made criticizing former President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. The panel ultimately dropped its case against him.