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Missouri appeals court rules to halt execution

Published May 20, 2014 7:27 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Bonne Terre, Mo. • The Missouri attorney general on Tuesday evening appealed a federal appeals court panel's ruling that temporarily halted the execution of a condemned killer, a ruling that cited concerns about the inmate's rare medical condition that could cause pain and suffering during lethal injection.

The appeal came soon after a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-to-1 tor halt the execution of Russell Bucklew. He is scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing a southeast Missouri man in 1996.

The office of Attorney General Chris Koster asked for a hearing before the full 8th Circuit, saying the panel's ruling conflicted with previous Supreme Court rulings.

The execution would be the first in the nation after a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma last month that left a condemned man writhing on a gurney before he died of a heart attack more than 40 minutes later.

Bucklew, 46, has a congenital condition known as cavernous hemangioma that causes weakened and malformed blood vessels, as well as tumors in his nose and throat. His attorneys say he could experience great suffering during the execution process, and Bucklew told The Associated Press by phone last week that he is scared of what might happen.

The Associated Press