Advocates rally to spare Missouri death row inmate Russell Bucklew

Russell Bucklew

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Advocates have delivered more than 57,000 petition signatures asking Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to stop the execution of a convicted killer with a rare medical condition.

About 20 protesters rallied Thursday at the Capitol to save Russell Bucklew. Several repeated “this is not what we stand for in Missouri” while delivering petitions.

Bucklew is scheduled to die Oct. 1.

He suffers from cavernous hemangioma, causing blood-filled tumors in his head, neck, and throat. His attorneys say a tracheostomy tube he needs to breathe increases the risk that he could choke on his blood if tumors rupture during his execution.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in April that the execution could proceed. A spokeswoman for the Republican governor has said Parson supports capital punishment but will examine the clemency request.

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