Amnesty International Responds to Imminent Missouri Execution

Press Release
May 20, 2014

Amnesty International Responds to Imminent Missouri Execution

Human Rights Group Says Moving Forward with Such an Inherently Cruel and Unjust Process is the "Ultimate Denial of Human Rights"

Contact: Gabe Cahn, gabe@westendstrategy.com, 202.776.7700, c: 202.412.1678, @AIUSAmedia

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Ahead of the scheduled execution of Missouri death row inmate Russell Bucklew, Amnesty International USA Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins issued the following statement:

"Missouri authorities seem determined to take the life of Russell Bucklew. Unless the Governor or the courts intervene, it will be the first in our nation since the horrific botched execution of Clayton Lockett. Russell suffers from cavernous hemangioma, a vascular condition that medical experts say increases the risk that what happened in Oklahoma's death chamber in April may happen in Missouri's tomorrow.

"Recently, Bucklew told a journalist that he was afraid, noting, 'you saw what happened down in Oklahoma.' We are afraid too, and we are not alone. We are afraid of what might happen to Russell Bucklew and of what it means to live in a state whose authorities would continue to pursue executions despite the grave concerns that have been raised.

"We hope that the Governor of Missouri will realize what we have long known. To move forward with such an inherently cruel and unjust process is the ultimate denial of human rights. We hope the Governor realizes this before the clock runs out."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.