BONNE TERRE, Mo. (WSIL) — The state of Missouri has executed convicted killer, Russell Bucklew, despite concerns his rare medical condition could cause gruesome death.
Bucklew looked around and twitched his feet beneath the sheet as he lay on the gurney just before the lethal injection. He suddenly took a deep breath and all movement stopped.
There were no outward signs of distress.
Bucklew had twice previously been within hours of execution, only to have the U.S. Supreme Court grant last-minute reprieves over concerns that Bucklew might suffer during the execution process. He had a condition called cavernous hemangioma and had blood-filled tumors in his head, neck and throat.
Bucklew’s attorneys said in a clemency request to Gov. Mike Parson that a throat tumor could burst, causing Bucklew to choke to death. Parson denied clemency earlier Tuesday.
Bucklew was convicted of killing Michael Sanders in 1996.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.