Slate names and shames all of the conservatives on the Supreme Court for this “appalling” opinion, but it’s Justice Neil Gorsuch, appointed by President Trump, who gets all the credit for overturning 60 years of precedent.
In an appalling death penalty opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch just overturned 60 years of precedent. https://t.co/xJQAXFadeS
— Slate (@Slate) April 1, 2019
So what’s bugging Slate this week and where does torture fit in?
On Monday, five justices of the Supreme Court authorized Missouri to torture a man to death. In the process, they appear to have overruled decades of Eighth Amendment precedents in a quest to let states impose barbaric punishments, including excruciating executions, on prisoners. The court’s conservative majority has converted a once-fringe view into the law of the land, imperiling dozens of decisions protecting the rights of death row inmates, as well as juvenile offenders. Its ruling signals the end of an Eighth Amendment jurisprudence governed by “civilized standards”—and the beginning of a new, brutal era in American capital punishment.
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.
Maybe the electric chair would sidestep those concerns?
The Mercury News reports that “Bucklew was convicted of the 1996 murder in Missouri of Michael Sanders, who was living with Bucklew’s former girlfriend Stephanie Ray. Bucklew fatally shot Sanders at his trailer home, kidnapped and raped Ray, shot at Sanders’ 6-year-old son and wounded a police officer before being apprehended, according to court papers.”
Gorsuch wrote for the court’s majority that “the Eighth Amendment does not guarantee a prisoner a painless death – something that, of course, isn’t guaranteed to many people, including most victims of capital crimes” — nice of someone to think of the pain the victims went through for a change.
Torture? Thumb-screws, the Iron Maiden, the wheel, and such? No, they haven't legalized torture.
— Mitzi (@MitziFetch) April 1, 2019
Don’t have even a modicum of concern for how this rapist murderer dies for his horrific crimes. Did he ask his victims how they’d like to die? Bring back the firing squad. I’d vote for that.
— Chad Elsey (@juryverdicts) April 1, 2019
Too bad so sad
— Sky (@SkylerCFelix) April 2, 2019
You say that like you think we'll be upset at a killer getting an execution after a fair trial and appeals.
— PeteInJersey (@PeteInJersey) April 1, 2019
Did the guy being put to death ask his victims if he superadded pain to their murders?
— Martin Strange (@TRDVC17) April 2, 2019
So some criminal on death row has a medical condition that would make the lethal injection more painful ?. Ok give him some morphine first, then execute. I wonder if his victims were given pain killers first?
— Betty bressler (@BresslerBetty) April 1, 2019
I'm telling you, the guillotine will fix all this.
— Mike Partyka (@MichaelJPartyka) April 1, 2019
i'm gonna go with boo hoo: "Bucklew aimed the gun at Sanders's head, but when he saw Sanders's six-year-old son, Bucklew fired at the boy instead. The shot missed….Michael Sanders bled to death from his wounds." https://t.co/ehEYC6cDNj
— joe (@JoeGremlin) April 1, 2019
What type of death did Bucklew's victim endure? Wasn't he shot in cold blood, left to slowly bleed to death, while Bucklew kidnapped his girlfriend, raped her repeatedly, pistol-whipped her, and left her to die? This despicable human being NEEDS to die a slow & agonizing death!
— Art Vandelay (@Vandelay_Corp) April 1, 2019
He didnt overturn it. Nothing ever stated that your death would be completely painless.
— Kevin⭐⭐⭐ (@HSFBfan15) April 2, 2019
Oh well. Don’t do the crime if you aren’t prepared to do the time. He won’t die as painful or slow as he should.
— Laser Pro (@LaserProTech) April 2, 2019
— ?Sportsball Politics⚾️ (@sportsballpol) April 2, 2019
According to liberals the death penalty should only apply to babies.
— Benny _/ (@mfkn_beerdrinkr) April 2, 2019
Try pretending he's a child in its ninth month of development, in the womb, while simultaneously breathing into a paper bag. That should do the trick.
At least Bucklew hasn't been sentenced to be torn into pieces. That happens to hundreds daily, in this abattoir of a country.
— Reginald P. Smythington-Bear (@PSmythington) April 2, 2019
Just think of it as a deferred late term abortion for hardened murderers, and then you'll love Gorsuch.
— Deplorable Ted (@TedDeplorable) April 1, 2019
CIVILITY STRIKES AGAIN! Blue-checked writer already gearing up to celebrate Neil Gorsuch's death https://t.co/2aXcEgjcM4
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) June 27, 2018