Missouri man set to be executed tonight could suffer a 'gruesome' death
Missouri's governor has refused to stop what activists say would be "one of the most gruesome" executions in US history.
Russell Bucklew, 51, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. (7 p.m. ET) Tuesday. He was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping and first-degree burglary in 1997.
Gov. Mike Parson turned down a clemency request, said his press office, without providing additional detail.
Bucklew suffers from a rare blood vessel disorder called cavernous hemangioma . The disease can cause tumors in the head and regular bleeding from the mouth, nose, eyes and ears.
An execution by lethal injection could cause prolonged suffocation and excruciating pain, Bucklew's attorneys have said. Bucklew argued the state should consider death by lethal gas as an alternative.
In April, the Supreme Court ruled against Bucklew in a 5-4 decision, which means plans for the lethal injection can proceed.
Justice Neil Gorsuch said the Eighth Amendment "does not demand the avoidance of all risk of pain" in carrying out executions.
He also said Bucklew had failed to "present any evidence" that the substitution of lethal gas would "significantly reduce his risk of pain," Gorsuch said.
But the American Civil Liberties Union said executing Bucklew would violate the Constitution's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment