Cruel & Unusual? No Worries, the Supreme Court Has Your Back
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  1. #1
    BamaNation Hall of Fame jthomas666's Avatar
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    Cruel & Unusual? No Worries, the Supreme Court Has Your Back

    Sweet Jesus.

    The facts of Bucklew are simple and unconverted. Russell Bucklew was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by the state of Missouri. Bucklew has a rare medical condition that would make lethal injection extremely painful for him before he died. He challenged his death sentence under Eighth Amendment prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment. Nobody disputes that the lethal injection would cause Bucklew quite a bit of pain, due to his condition.

    Despite that, the lower courts ruled against him, and today, the Supreme Court did so as well. Writing for a 5-4 majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch held that “The Eighth Amendment forbids ‘cruel and unusual’ methods of capital punishment but does not guarantee a prisoner a painless death.”

    If that were the end of it, the opinion would just be another blood stain in our sad jurisprudence of death. Unknown numbers of innocent people have been executed in this country since the death penalty was reinstated. Untold numbers of guilty people have known the spiteful vengeance some people mistake for justice. Through it all, the Eighth Amendment sits on the sidelines, a grand idea neutered by our society’s rage and cowardice, waiting for better men and women to live up to its noble promise.

    But Neil Gorsuch is not a better man. Instead of just killing the murderer and being done with it, Gorsuch could not resist seeing the Bucklew case as an opportunity to experiment with justifications of the state’s right to inflict suffering that have long been discarded by decent people.
    This is the darkest timeline.

  2. #2
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Bazza's Avatar
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    Re: Cruel & Unusual? No Worries, the Supreme Court Has Your Back

    Never heard of the guy - but found this background info:

    Forty-nine-year-old Russell is convicted of killing 27-year-old Michael Sanders on March 21, 1996, at Hickory Hollow trailer park in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. Russell also kidnapped, beat, and raped 21-year-old Stephanie Pruitt.

    Russell Bucklew, a former electrician, met Stephanie Pruitt in the summer 1995, while she was married to another man, with whom she had two children. By fall of 1995, Stephanie was divorced and dating Bucklew, whom she knew as Rusty. Around Christmas, Stephanie discovered she was pregnant, however, she lost the baby on Valentine's Day and the relationship between Stephanie and Bucklew was over. Stephanie claims they broke up and Bucklew moved back into his parent's house. Bucklew said they just needed a few days apart to cool off.

    When Bucklew returned, he discovered that Michael Sanders was now living with Stephanie in Bucklew’s trailer. Bucklew was furious and put a knife to Mike's throat, telling him to get out or he would kill him. Stephanie moved in with Mike a few days later.

    Stephanie and Bucklew had another confrontation when she retrieved some of her clothes from Bucklew's trailer. Stephanie, chained to a bed, agreed to meet Bucklew on March 21, 1996, and leave with him. Bucklew let her go. On March 21, 1996, Bucklew, after stealing guns, handcuffs, duct tape, and a car from his cousin, secretly followed and watched Stephanie all day. His goal was to catch her with Mike. When he saw return to Mike's trailer, he decided that she was not going to meet him and decided to kill Mike and kidnap her.

    Bucklew knocked on the door of Mike's trailer. Six-year-old John Michael and 4-year-old Zach were playing Super Nintendo when they heard the knock. John Michael unlocked the door, at which time, Bucklew kicked the door in. He was armed with a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, a .22 caliber revolver, extra ammunition, and holsters for the guns which were strapped to his body, two knives, two sets of handcuffs, a pair of rubber gloves, and a roll of silver duct tape.

    Michael exited the bedroom where he had been talking with Stephanie about Bucklew. Stephanie's father had loaned them a shotgun, but Michael barely knew how to use it. Nonetheless, he took it with him to confront Bucklew. Michael ordered his kids to the bedroom. Bucklew, furious that Michael had a weapon, shot Michael four times. All four bullets passed through the body.

    Bucklew handcuffed Stephanie and took her with him. While handcuffing Stephanie, John Michael ensured that he and his brother were hiding. After hearing Bucklew drive away, the kids remained hiding for a time before emerging. John Michael and Zach were with their father as he died. John Michael later testified and identified Bucklew as the man who killed his father.

    Bucklew forced Stephanie to perform several sexual acts, eventually raping her. Bucklew, with Stephanie in the vehicle, later got into a high speed chase with the police, which ended with him being shot and captured.


    ==================
    Generally speaking I'm against the death penalty - but there are some exceptions.I don't know what to think about the situation you posted here, J Thomas. Certainly as a society we should proceed with humane enforcement of our laws.

    I wonder what is meant by "
    cause Bucklew quite a bit of pain, due to his condition"?

  3. #3
    BamaNation Hall of Fame jthomas666's Avatar
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    Re: Cruel & Unusual? No Worries, the Supreme Court Has Your Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Bazza View Post
    Generally speaking I'm against the death penalty - but there are some exceptions.I don't know what to think about the situation you posted here, J Thomas. Certainly as a society we should proceed with humane enforcement of our laws.
    I wonder what is meant by "[/FONT][/COLOR]cause Bucklew quite a bit of pain, due to his condition"?
    From a Slate article:

    Russell Bucklew is a death row inmate in Missouri who suffers from a rare medical condition called cavernous hemangioma. Due to this disorder, his body is covered with tumors filled with blood vessels. Tumors in Bucklew’s neck and throat, his lips and uvula, which make it difficult for him to breathe. They are highly sensitive and frequently squirt blood. A medical expert, Dr. Joel Zivot, has testified that if Missouri administers a lethal injection to Bucklew, he will die a slow, agonizing death. His tumors will rupture and fill his mouth with blood, and he will suffocate to death in unbearable pain, choking and convulsing on the gurney as he dies.
    The Slate article also examines the tortured logic underlying the decision.
    This is the darkest timeline.

  4. #4
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Crimson1967's Avatar
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    Re: Cruel & Unusual? No Worries, the Supreme Court Has Your Back

    Some states have brought back the electric chair as an option due to concerns over lethal injection.


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    BamaNation Hall of Fame AlexanderFan's Avatar
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    Re: Cruel & Unusual? No Worries, the Supreme Court Has Your Back

    I’m thinking if the death penalty is going to cause you pain you probably shouldn’t go around raping and murdering people. There are certain cases that deserve our mercy as a society, I don’t think this is one. I’m sure he would object to being carried out back and a bullet put in his head as well.


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    BamaNation Hall of Fame jthomas666's Avatar
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    Re: Cruel & Unusual? No Worries, the Supreme Court Has Your Back

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexanderFan View Post
    I’m thinking if the death penalty is going to cause you pain you probably shouldn’t go around raping and murdering people. There are certain cases that deserve our mercy as a society, I don’t think this is one. I’m sure he would object to being carried out back and a bullet put in his head as well.
    From the Slate article linked in my last post:

    To forestall this fate, Bucklew sought to block his execution by lethal injection, arguing that it would violate the Eighth Amendment’s bar against “cruel and unusual punishments.” Under two Supreme Court precedents, Baze v. Rees and Glossip v. Gross, an inmate challenging his method of execution must provide an “available alternative” that will cause less pain.

    Bucklew asked to be killed with nitrogen gas so that he can die from “hypoxia,” a lack of oxygen, because his death from hypoxia would be faster than his death from lethal injection.
    This is the darkest timeline.

  7. #7
    BamaNation Hall of Fame AlexanderFan's Avatar
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    Re: Cruel & Unusual? No Worries, the Supreme Court Has Your Back

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nyt...tions.amp.html

    It’s unproven and protocols haven’t been developed as of May 2018.


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    BamaNation Hall of Fame jthomas666's Avatar
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    Re: Cruel & Unusual? No Worries, the Supreme Court Has Your Back

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexanderFan View Post
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nyt...tions.amp.html
    It’s unproven and protocols haven’t been developed as of May 2018.
    It's well established that you will die without oxygen.

    I get it--Bucklew's an animal and you're not going to lose any sleep if he suffers. I'd like to think that we as a society are better than Bucklew.

    More troubling, though, is the "reasoning" behind the ruling. Gorsuch raises the bar on what constitutes "cruel and unusual" to an absurd level.
    This is the darkest timeline.

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    BamaNation Hall of Fame Displaced Bama Fan's Avatar
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    Re: Cruel & Unusual? No Worries, the Supreme Court Has Your Back

    Quote Originally Posted by jthomas666 View Post
    edit. Saw the condition further into the thread.

  10. #10
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Bazza's Avatar
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    Re: Cruel & Unusual? No Worries, the Supreme Court Has Your Back

    I admit I don't know that much about the lethal injection technical aspects.

    I know when an animal is euthanized, it's actually given an anesthesia first - and then the actual drug that kills it.

    Seems like that's how we should do it with humans.

    The fact that there are people who don't care about the comfort of a convicted murderer, kidnapper, and rapist is telling.

  11. #11
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Bamaro's Avatar
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    Re: Cruel & Unusual? No Worries, the Supreme Court Has Your Back

    Fentanyl?

  12. #12
    BamaNation All-American
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    Re: Cruel & Unusual? No Worries, the Supreme Court Has Your Back

    Seems like the easiest solution here is to get rid of the death penalty

  13. #13
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    Re: Cruel & Unusual? No Worries, the Supreme Court Has Your Back

    Quote Originally Posted by RollTide_HTTR View Post
    Seems like the easiest solution here is to get rid of the death penalty
    I tend to agree. Part of me wants the retribution for awful crimes but the reality is that there is nothing that will correct for the wrong someone on death row has done. Might as well leave that judgement to their maker.
    I owe it to the people to have a signature...so here goes nothing!

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