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Missouri inmate with rare medical condition faces execution

ST. LOUIS –  The fate of a condemned Missouri inmate rests with Gov. Mike Parson, who must decide if the risk posed by Russell Bucklew’s unusual medical condition is grave enough to halt his execution.

Bucklew is scheduled to be put to death Tuesday evening for killing a man during a violent 1996 crime spree. The U.S. Supreme Court in April gave the go-ahead for Bucklew to be executed, so court appeals appear to be exhausted.

Parson, a Republican supporter of the death penalty, is weighing a clemency request.

Bucklew suffers from cavernous hemangioma. He has blood-filled tumors in his head, neck, and throat. A permanent tracheostomy in his throat helps him breathe. His attorneys say in the clemency request that if one of the throat tumors bursts, Bucklew could choke to death.

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