Former prosecutor calls Bucklew defense hogwash
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.