The conservative majority on The Supreme Court brought by President Donald trump’s election continues to pay dividends.
In a ruling on Tuesday the court decided, in a 5 – 4 vote along ideological lines, that death row inmates do not have a right to a painless execution, Fox News reported.
A Missouri man convicted in a brutal rape and murder can be executed by lethal injection because he is not guaranteed a “painless death,” the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday, quashing Russell Bucklew’s bid to avoid the needle because of his rare medical condition.
In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court granted Missouri the right to proceed with execution protocol for Bucklew, who was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of Michael Sanders, who was dating Bucklew’s ex-girlfriend. Bucklew had previously assaulted the couple and stalked his former lover the day of the murder in order to find out where she was living. After shooting and killing Sanders, Bucklew fired at his former girlfriend’s 6-year-old child — and missed — before kidnapping the woman and raping her several times. He was eventually arrested after a car chase and police shootout.
“Today we bring this case to a close at last because we agree with the courts below that Mr. Bucklew’s claim isn’t supported by either the law or the evidence,” Justice Neil Gorsuch said in summarizing his majority opinion.
The court previously ruled inmates challenging the method a state plans to use to execute them have to show there’s an alternative that is likely to be less painful.
Bucklew argued death by lethal injection would be extremely painful because a blood-filled tumor in his throat caused by a rare medical condition would likely burst during the execution — causing him to choke on his own blood and cut off oxygen to his body for up to four minutes.
He said this would violate the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. As an alternative, Bucklew wanted to die by inhaling pure nitrogen gas through a mask, a method no state has ever used to execute a prisoner.
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SCOTUS’ conservative majority offered a sweeping defense of the death penalty this week, including in cases when an inmate faces risk of extreme pain. https://t.co/TuByiF8afw
— devindwyer (@devindwyer) April 2, 2019
For those wondering how Brett Kavanaugh might immediately change the course of #SCOTUS, a decision handed down Monday allowing a Missouri execution is it. It seems unlikely Anthony Kennedy would have sided with the conservative bloc on this one. https://t.co/URFNbEfRjL
— Brendan Kirby (@BrendanKKirby) April 1, 2019
.@slate‘s perspective—The Supreme Court’s Conservatives Just Legalized Torture. In an appalling death penalty opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch just overturned 60 years of precedent. https://t.co/ZrZiedNHuU @mjs_DC @DPInfoCtr #SCOTUS #deathpenalty
— Robert Dunham (@RDunhamDPIC) April 1, 2019
“the Eighth Amendment does not guarantee a prisoner a painless death”…
With this ruling, the SCOTUS solidly establishes that the US death penalty is for the purposes of retribution, not deterrence or incapacitation.
Just like it was in 1754 BCE.https://t.co/Dc4KucRRD8
— Professor Off-Topic (@SocialSciNerd) April 2, 2019
Writing for the majority, #SCOTUS Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment bars only needless pain: “The Eighth Amendment does not guarantee a prisoner a painless death.”
— The Marshall Project (@MarshallProj) April 1, 2019
#SCOTUSlinkoftheday: @adamliptak writes #SCOTUS 5-4 ruling against death-row inmate’s challenge to method of execution under Constitution’s ban on cruel & unusual punishment “revealed fault lines and considerable friction over the use of the death penalty” https://t.co/bYlYvRha1z
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) April 2, 2019
In a 5-4 decision, #SCOTUS ruled that a death row inmate in Missouri may be executed by lethal injection notwithstanding a rare medical condition that he says will cause excruciating pain. https://t.co/TNY79pK4Yz
— American Constitution Society (@acslaw) April 1, 2019
Busy few days for #SCOTUS on #deathpenalty — looking at spiritual advisers kept away from inmates at their executions and if lethal injection is too cruel for someone with rare medical condition. Court said it isn’t. https://t.co/wnFZLJAAjE
— Carol Zimmermann (@carolmaczim) April 2, 2019
In today’s (terrible) 5–4 death penalty decision, Gorsuch and Sotomayor continue the fight over Domineque Ray, whom SCOTUS allowed to be executed without his imam present. https://t.co/5Y9O5iS8Ty pic.twitter.com/Atqs2YUhs8
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) April 1, 2019
In which SCOTUS denied a man on death row (something that shouldn’t exist) a request to be killed a more humane way. The death penalty is an evil, morally abhorrent view.
Human dignity & life is precious and non-negotiable. Adjust accordingly, SCOTUS https://t.co/YE9jtLgrTO
— colby mecher (@ColbyMecher) April 2, 2019
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