JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a warrant of execution for Russell Bucklew, who was convicted of killing a southeast Missouri man in 1996 during a crime rampage.
The state’s high court set Bucklew’s execution date for Oct. 1.
The warrant comes after the U.S. Supreme Court in April ruled against Bucklew’s bid to halt his death by lethal injection. Attorneys for Bucklew, now 51, argued his medical condition would lead to extreme suffering when put to death by lethal injection.
Bucklew’s medical condition, cavernous hemangioma, causes weakened and malformed blood vessels, and tumors in his nose and throat could rupture and bleed.
“The Eighth Amendment has never been understood to guarantee a condemned inmate a painless death,” Justice Neil Gorsuch said in April. “That’s a luxury not guaranteed to many people, including most victims of capital crimes.”
Bucklew’s execution has been delayed numerous times in the 22 years since he was convicted of first-degree murder.
In 1997, a Boone County jury recommended the death penalty for Bucklew after convicting him of killing Michael Sanders, 27, the boyfriend of Bucklew’s ex-girlfriend.