Catholic bishops ask Parson to halt upcoming execution

September 19, 2019 GMT

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s four Catholic bishops are asking Gov. Mike Parson to spare the life of a convicted killer whose execution is approaching.

Russell Bucklew faces execution Oct. 1 for killing Michael Sanders in Cape Girardeau County in 1996. The Southeast Missourian reports that the bishops are urging Parson to change the sentence to life in prison.

An email message left Thursday with Parson’s spokeswoman wasn’t immediately returned.

Bucklew is 51 and suffers from a rare condition called cavernous hemangioma, which causes blood-filled tumors in his head, neck and throat. His lawyers say he could suffer during the execution process.


Twice before, in 2014 and 2018, last-minute reprieves from the U.S. Supreme Court spared Bucklew. But the Supreme Court ruled in April that Missouri could move ahead with the execution.


Information from: Southeast Missourian,