Justices rule against Missouri inmate with rare health issue

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court says Missouri can execute an inmate who argued his rare medical condition will result in severe pain if he is given death-causing drugs.

The justices ruled 5-4 Monday against inmate Russell Bucklew (BUCK-loo), who is on death row for a 1996 murder.

Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion for the court’s five conservative justices rejects Bucklew’s argument that subjecting him to lethal injection could cause a tumor in his throat to burst and make him choke on his own blood. Bucklew argued that would violate the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Bucklew had suggested he could be executed using nitrogen gas.

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