Supreme Court rules against Missouri death row inmate with rare disease


WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 23: The U.S. Supreme Court is shown as the court meets to issue decisions May 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. The court today sided in a 7-1 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts with a Georgia inmate on death row in his appeal to the court citing efforts by prosecutors […]

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision against a death row inmate in Missouri who claimed his execution by lethal injection would cause him “severe harm and suffering” because he suffers from a rare disease.

Russell Bucklew’s challenge marked the first major death penalty case argued since Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced Justice Anthony Kennedy. Last spring, Kennedy voted with the court’s four liberals to put the execution on hold.

While the Supreme Court has broadly upheld death by lethal injection, lawyers for Bucklew argued that in his particular case the disease, called cavernous hemangioma, is progressive and causes an “unstable blood-filled tumor to grow in his head, neck and throat.” They concluded that if he were to undergo lethal injection he could suffer from prolonged suffocation.

Bucklew argued the state should consider death by lethal gas as an alternative.

Lawyers for the state dispute the findings of the medical expert and emphasize that Bucklew engaged in lengthy delays in fighting his death sentence. They argue that Missouri’s one drug protocol is “the most humane and effective method of execution” available and that the state has no experience with lethal gas.

Trademark and Copyright 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Latest News

More News

National News

More National

Washington D.C.

More Washington DC

Your Local Election HQ

More Your Local Election HQ

Latest News

More News


KFOR Podcasts

More Podcasts

Follow @KFOR on Twitter