Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Missouri Executes Russell Bucklew

I covered the Eighth Amendment in my classes today and shared this story with my students. From the piece:

Bucklew's girlfriend, Stephanie Ray, left him on Valentine's Day 1996. Over the next few weeks, according to court records, he harassed her, cut her with a knife and punched her in the face.

Ray feared for her life and the lives of her children, so she moved into the Cape Girardeau County mobile home that her new boyfriend, Michael Sanders, shared with his children.

On March 21, after stealing his nephew's car and taking two pistols, handcuffs and duct tape from his brother, Bucklew followed Ray to Sanders' home. Sanders confronted Bucklew with a shotgun inside the home. Bucklew fired two shots, one piercing Sanders' lung. He bled to death.

Bucklew then shot at Sanders' 6-year-old son and missed. Court records say he struck Ray in the face with the pistol, handcuffed her and dragged her to his car. He later raped Ray before heading north on Interstate 55.

A trooper spotted Bucklew's car and eventually became engaged in a gunfight near St. Louis. Both men were wounded. Bucklew later escaped from the Cape Girardeau County Jail. He attacked Ray's mother and her boyfriend with a hammer before being recaptured.

Pilate and another attorney for Bucklew, Jeremy Weis, said in a statement that Bucklew was remorseful for his crimes.

Morley Swingle, who was Cape Girardeau County prosecutor when the crimes occurred, said they were among the most heinous of his career.

"He is probably the most pure sociopath I ever prosecuted," Swingle said of Bucklew. "He was relentless in the way he came after his victims."
A human piece of garbage, the guy was on death row for 23 years. Boy, did he ever enjoy some due process, sheesh.