U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued an order late halting the execution of Missouri inmate Russell Bucklew about an hour before he was set to die by lethal injection this week, reported the Washington Post.
The action most likely means the full Supreme Court will review the order and decide whether or not to hear the merits of Bucklew’s challenge to his execution.
Bucklew, 46, reportedly suffers from a congenital condition that has weakened and malformed his blood vessels. He has tumors growing in his nose and throat, he bleeds from his eyes and ears and he has constant pain in his face that requires pain medicine every few hours. He told the Associated Press that, because of his condition, he was scared of what might happen.
Attorneys for Bucklew, a convicted killer, had asked the courts for a stay of execution owing to his medical condition, which they said would make it more likely he would suffer a prolonged, painful death during the execution.
Alito, who handles emergency matters for Missouri and other states covered by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, didn’t explain why he issued the order suspending Bucklew’s execution. But Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster issued a statement saying his office understands the full Supreme Court would consider Bucklew’s requests.
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