Former prosecutor calls Bucklew defense hogwash

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Russell Bucklew

BONNE TERRE, MO (KTVI) – The execution stay granted Missouri death row inmate Russell Bucklew is not the news former prosecutor Morley Swingle was hoping to hear.

“In closing arguments I called him a homicidal energizer bunny,” said Swingle.   “You can shoot him.  You can put him in the hospital.  You could lock him up and if he hated you and wanted to kill you, he was still going to keep coming after you.”

Swingle refuses to buy the argument Bucklew’s attorneys are making.  They believe he should not be executed because of a medical condition.  They believe Missouri’s methods would cause Bucklew extreme, torturous pain.

“I think its hogwash,” said Swingle.  He believes the defense was built around the botched execution in Oklahoma last month.

“They’re trying to say that could happen here, but there’s no proof of that whatsoever,” Swingle said.

He believes the death penalty is a crime deterrent and cited one case where a criminal stopped short of murder because he did not want to be put to death.  Swingle believes Bucklew deserves the death penalty.

Bucklew was convicted of murder in the 1996 shooting of Michael Sanders.  Sanders was shot inside his trailer while his children were inside.  Bucklew then raped Sanders’ girlfriend before getting into a shootout with Missouri Troopers.  He indicated he did not want to be taken alive because he did not want end up being executed.

Previous Story:

Follow Jeff Bernthal on Facebook and Twitter:
Jeff Bernthal on Facebook
Jeff Bernthal on Twitter


  • rose

    Of course it’s hogwash. He is a coward. He sure enjoys dishing it out but he sure doesn’t want to take it.

  • Carol Angelbeck

    I too say shame on the 8th circuit and the US Spreme Ct for not letting this execution go forward. Of course what can we expect out of the US SUpreme Ct which is made up of mostly Democratic liberals appointed by Obama & Clinton, but I guess we could use HIllary’s statement and say WHat’s the difference.

    • Carol Angelbeck

      He knew he had this condition when he went to prison and even had surgery which he made it thru. Remember we are not trying to save his rotten life but to end it as he did his victims. He is nothing but a coward and his attorney Cheryl Pilate is something to right home about. What a travesty of justice this was. I’m truely sorry for the victims families.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.