Russell Bucklew has drawn the attention of the United States again as he is granted a second stay of execution. Bucklew’s first stay of execution came in 2014 when he was spared by the U.S. Supreme Court who was concerned about his rare medical condition. Bucklew has been diagnosed with an unusual condition known as cavernous hemangioma. It causes vein problems, tumors in his head and throat, and on his lips, and malformed blood vessels.
If he was executed using the currently favored method of lethal injection, it would likely be extremely painful. According to his lawyer, Cheryl Pilate, it would probably cause him “to choke and cough on his own blood during the lethal injection process.” The condition would prevent the injection from being placed in the traditional local in the arm and would cause it to be placed in through a vein in his leg or somewhere else.
Bucklew’s attorney has asked for clemency from Republican Governor Eric Greitens, but at this point, they are willing to settle for a different method of execution. In Missouri law, Bucklew is eligible to be put to death using a gas chamber. Unfortunately, Missouri no longer has a functioning gas chamber and has not used that method since 1965.
Bucklew was sentenced to death in 1996 after he entered a violent rage following his breakup from his girlfriend, Stephanie Ray. Following the breakup, Bucklew attacked Ray with a knife, beat her, and threatened her life, causing her to take her children and leave. Bucklew stalked Ray, before breaking into the house of her new boyfriend, Michael Sanders, and killing him. When Sanders’ son came out, Bucklew tried to kill him but he escaped.
He then kidnapped Ray where he beat and raped her. Once he was arrested, they thought the worst was behind them. Ray broke out of jail and went to the home of Ray’s mother where he beat her with a hammer before being captured once again.
Do you think he deserves to be given the lethal injection, or should he be sentenced to die in a gas chamber that Missouri would have to build just for him? Or, do you believe that Bucklew should be sentenced to life in jail?
This is a horrible story, and we know that sometimes we need a reminder of the good in the world after a horrible time like this, so be sure to check out the video below!