Alito Halts Execution at Last Minute

The execution of a Missouri prisoner scheduled for Tuesday night was halted by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. The justice didn’t explain why he suspended the planned execution of Russell Bucklew, but it came after the full Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a stay that was issued hours earlier by a three-judge panel within the same court. Bucklew’s attorney argued that tumors in the convicted murderer’s head may complicate the administration of lethal drugs, leading to an “excruciating, even torturous pain.” This week, Bucklew said: “I’m sick about it not working on me. I’m afraid that it’s going to turn me into a vegetable, that I’d be brain-dead. You saw what happened down in Oklahoma.”