Posted: May 21, 2014 1:52 AM
Updated: May 21, 2014 1:52 AM
BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) A Missouri inmate's hopes rest with the U.S. Supreme Court after he got a reprieve shortly before his scheduled execution.
Russell Bucklew was scheduled to be executed at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for the 1996 killing of a romantic rival. But Justice Samuel Alito granted him a reprieve late Tuesday so that the full Supreme Court can weigh his appeal later Wednesday.
Bucklew has a rare medical condition that causes weakened and malformed blood vessels. His attorneys say he could be subjected to an agonizing death if given a lethal injection of the state's secretly-sourced execution drug.
If the Supreme Court rejects Bucklew's appeal the state could decide to proceed with the execution. It would have until midnight Wednesday to kill Bucklew.