Bucklew v. Precythe, No. 17-3052 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Russell Bucklew was sentenced to death after being convicted of murder, kidnapping, and rape. At issue on appeal was whether the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, as applied, barred Missouri officials from employing a procedure that was authorized by Missouri statute to execute Bucklew. The Eighth Circuit held that the summary judgment record contained no basis to conclude that Bucklew's risk of severe pain would be substantially reduced by use of nitrogen hypoxia instead of lethal injection as the method of execution. Therefore, Bucklew failed to establish the second prong of the Glossip/Baze standard. In this case, Bucklew failed to establish that lethal injection, as applied to him, constituted cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Finally, the district court did not err in denying Bucklew's requests for discovery relating to two members of the lethal injection execution team.