Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Suez canal expansion: a boost for Egypt's economy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Burmese government admits 'weak' response to floods

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The spectre of Sangatte' : France's migrants

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple shares slump over future growth fears

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Compensation for thousands affected by post-election violence in Ivory Coast

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Happy Birthday, Mr President

Read more

THE DEBATE

The clean power plan: Obama, a climate leader?

Read more

THE DEBATE

US drone secrecy: Licence to kill?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Puerto Rico defaults: is it America's Greece?

Read more

Americas

US Supreme Court justice halts Missouri execution

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-05-21

US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued an order late on Tuesday suspending the planned execution of a Missouri inmate, little more than an hour before it was due to take place.

Alito’s order did not explain the reason why he had halted the execution of Russell Bucklew, who was scheduled to die by lethal injection at 12:01am local time. But Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster issued a statement indicating that that his office understood that the Supreme Court would consider the case on Wednesday.

The order was issued shortly after the full Eight Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a stay granted to Bucklew hours earlier by a three-judge panel of that same court. The panel had halted the execution over concerns that Bucklew, who suffers from a rare medical condition, would experience undue pain during the lethal injection.

The panel’s 2-1 ruling read that Bucklew’s “unrebutted medical evidence demonstrates the requisite sufficient likelihood of unnecessary pain and suffering beyond the constitutionally permissible amount inherent in all executions.”

If the execution had gone forward as planned, it would have been the first one in the United States since an inmate in Oklahoma died of a heart attack following a botched lethal injection.

Bucklew, who was sentenced to death for killing a man from southeast Missouri in 1996, has a congenital condition known as cavernous hemangioma, which causes weakened and malformed blood vessels, as well as tumours in his nose and throat. In a phone conversation last week, Bucklew told the Associated Press that he was scared of what might happen.

“The state does not have the right to inflict extreme, torturous pain during an execution,” one of his lawyers, Cheryl Pilate, said. “We still hope that Mr. Bucklew’s grave medical condition and compromised airway will persuade the governor or a court to step back from this extremely risky execution.”

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

Date created : 2014-05-21

  • USA

    Report highlights chaotic scenes at botched US execution

    Read more

  • USA

    US convict dies of heart attack after 'botched' execution

    Read more

  • USA

    Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

COMMENT(S)