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Home / US / Executed today in Missouri: Russell Bucklew executed a rampage in 1996 despite concerns over his health

Executed today in Missouri: Russell Bucklew executed a rampage in 1996 despite concerns over his health



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An undated photo shows Russell Bucklew.

Department of Corrections in Missouri


A Missouri man was executed on Tuesday for killing a man during a violent rampage in 1

996, although he feared that the inmate's rare illness would trigger a fatal, lethal injection. Russell Bucklew was executed in the state prison in Bonne Terre. It was Missouri's first execution since January 2017.

Bucklew had previously been executed twice within hours of execution, only to receive short-term reparations from the United States Supreme Court for concerns he might suffer during the execution process. He had a condition called cavernous hemangioma, and had blood-filled tumors in the head, neck, and throat. He breathed with the help of a tracheostomy tube.

His lawyers, in a pardon to Governor Mike Parson, said a laryngeal tumor could burst, causing Bucklew to suffocate and die painfully and violate the constitutional guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment.

Bucklew looked around and jerked his feet under the sheet as he lay on the stretcher just before the lethal injection. He suddenly took a deep breath and every movement stopped. He showed no external signs of distress.

One of Bucklew lawyers, Cheryl Pilate, said several steps had been taken to ensure that he did not suffer. "We believe that the considerable effort made to make this process less dreadful has gone awry Advantage, "Pilatus said. The state uses a single dose of pentobarbital, but does not want to say where it comes from. It is believed that the source is a compound pharmacy, as large pharmaceutical companies prohibit the use of their drugs in executions.

The Supreme Court has stopped the execution of Bucklew in 2014 and 2018. The execution of Bucklew.

Human rights groups and opponents of the death penalty, including all four Roman Catholic bishops in Missouri and the American Civil Liberties Union, urged Parson to grant mercy and send Bucklew to prison without parole. The ACLU and Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty petitioned the governor's office on Thursday with more than 57,000 signatures.

But Parson, a Republican who has been active in law enforcement for more than 20 years, and a convincing death penalty supporter, ruled early Tuesday that the execution could continue.

Inmates' medical conditions have influenced other recent execution attempts.

had to be halted in Ohio when no viable vein could be found to administer the drugs of execution. He died in 2018 at the age of 69 years.

In 2018, Alabama stopped the deadly injection of Doyle Lee Hamm when the execution team had difficulty connecting the intravenous line. Hamm had suffered venous damage due to lymphoma, hepatitis and drug use. A doctor employed by Hamm's lawyers wrote in a report that Hamm had at least 11 puncture sites and bleeding heavily while attempting to connect the line.

Bucklew's girlfriend, Stephanie Ray, left him on Valentine's Day in 1996. In the weeks that followed, he molested her, cut her with a knife and slapped her face.

Ray feared for her life and that of her children and moved into the camper van of Cape Girardeau County that her new friend, Michael Sanders, shared with his children.

On March 21, after stealing his nephew's car and taking two pistols, handcuffs and tape from his brother, Bucklew Ray followed Sanders home. Sanders confronted Bucklew with a shotgun in the house. Bucklew fired two shots, one of which pierced Sander's lungs. He was bleeding.

Bucklew then shot at Sanders 6-year-old son and missed him. According to court records, he slammed Ray's gun in the face, handcuffed her, and pulled her to his car. He later raped Ray before heading north on Interstate 55.

A soldier spotted Bucklew's car and eventually engaged in a shootout near St. Louis. Both men were wounded. Bucklew later fled the prison of Cape Girardeau County. He attacked Ray's mother and her friend with a hammer before being retaken.

Jeremy Weis, Pilate and another lawyer from Bucklew, said Bucklew was remorseful for his crimes.

Morley Swingle, Cape Girardeau County When the crimes occurred, the prosecutor said they were among the worst of his career.

"He's probably the purest sociopath I've ever followed," Swingle said of Bucklew. "He was relentless in the way he followed his victims."


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