A federal court judge, the U.S. Supreme Court and Republican Governor Eric Greitens are the options left for convicted killer Russell Bucklew, whose execution is set for later today. The attorney for Bucklew says lethal injection could be gruesome and painful because of Bucklew’s brain and neck tumors.
An appeal is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court that states his throat tumor would probably rupture, causing him to choke on his own blood. Bucklew was moments away from execution in 2014 when the U.S. Supreme Court intervened for the same argument.
The governor’s spokesman, Parker Briden, says he cannot comment on whether a request has been made to block Bucklew’s execution.
In 1996, the 49-year-old Bucklew was convicted of murdering a Cape Girardeau man involved with his ex-girlfriend. Police say Bucklew killed Michael Sanders in front of Sanders and his estranged girlfriend. He also raped the woman, held her hostage and got into a shootout with state troopers. Bucklew survived a bullet to the head during that shooting.
Missourinet is planning to cover today’s scheduled execution. The procedure can occur anytime between 6 p.m. today and 6 p.m. tomorrow.
The last person to be executed in Missouri was Mark Christeson in January 2017.