The Supreme Court stepped in and halted the execution of a Missouri inmate on Wednesday. Death-row prisoner Russell Bucklew challenged his execution on the grounds that he has a rare medical condition and the state refuses to disclose the source of its lethal injection drugs.
Here’s more from the Associated Press:
[Bucklew] had been scheduled to be put to death at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for the 1996 killing of a man during a violent crime spree, but Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito had blocked the execution late Tuesday while the full court considered the matter. By law, Missouri has a 24-hour window to carry out a scheduled execution, and it wasn't immediately clear if the ruling meant the execution was canceled. The Associated Press could not immediately reach attorneys for Bucklew and the state. Bucklew would have been the first inmate put to death since last month's botched execution in Oklahoma.
“Bucklew — who killed a romantic rival in front of his kids, kidnapped and raped his ex-girlfriend and wounded a police officer — suffers from a rare congenital illness that creates vascular tumors in his head and neck,” NBC News reports. “His lawyers contend that the masses will likely prevent an injection of pentobarbital from circulating properly and that could drag out a painful death — violating the constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment.”