Russell Bucklew | St. Louis Public Radio

Russell Bucklew

Missouri executed its first prisoner since 2017 on Tuesday night. Despite the man’s rare medical condition, no complications were reported. 

Russell Bucklew's advocates drop off signatures collected to stop his execution to the Governor's Office on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2019.
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri is scheduled to execute Russell Bucklew by injection on Tuesday, but his advocates want Gov. Mike Parson to stop it because they say a medical condition would make him endure needless pain. 

The Cape Girardeau man was convicted of murder, rape and kidnapping in 1997. His lawyers and advocates are not challenging his guilt, but instead say Bucklew’s rare medical condition would cause him to suffer cruel and unusual punishment. 

The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday set an execution date of Oct. 1 for Russell Bucklew, whose challenge to the state’s lethal injection method was rejected three months ago by the U.S. Supreme Court.

If carried out, Bucklew will be the first Missouri prisoner executed since January 2017, when Mark Anthony Christeson was put to death for the 1998 murders in south-central Missouri of a mother and her two children.

A narrowly divided U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Missouri death row inmate’s challenge to the state’s single-drug lethal injection method, finding Monday it does not amount to “cruel and unusual” punishment.

Missouri Dept. of Corrections

Updated March 21, 5:55 p.m. – Russell Bucklew's scheduled execution has been called off.

In a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay Tuesday evening, based on Bucklew's assertion that Missouri's lethal injection protocol would cause bleeding and suffocation due to a medical condition he suffers.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

A federal appeals court has OK'd the execution of a Missouri man who suffers from a medical condition he says would make the lethal injection unconstitutionally painful.

Russell Bucklew, 49, was sentenced to death in 1996 for shooting and killing a romantic rival, and kidnapping and raping his ex-girlfriend. His execution is set for March 20.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Supreme Court has set March 20, 2018, as the execution date for a Cape Girardeau man who shot and killed a romantic rival in 1996.

Russell Bucklew, 49, had previously been scheduled to die in 2014. But days before the execution date, he sued in federal court, arguing that he has a medical condition making lethal injection cruel and unusual punishment. The U.S. Supreme Court halted the execution so the case could heard through the legal system.