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85 Mo. L. Rev. 609 (2020)
Risk of Choking to Death on One's Own Blood Is Not Cruel and Unusual Punishment

handle is hein.journals/molr85 and id is 618 raw text is: Mears: Risk of Choking to Death on One's Own Blood Is Not Cruel and Unus

Risk of Choking to Death on One's Own
Blood Is Not Cruel and Unusual
Bucklew v. Precythe, 139 S. Ct. 1112 (2019).
Calla M. Mears*
Missouri began executing inmates in 1810 by hanging Peter Johnson, a
man accused of murder.' Since Johnson's execution, Missouri executed 374
inmates between 1810 and 2019.2 Hanging was the most common method of
execution in Missouri until 1936.3 Lethal gas was first used in Missouri in
1937 and became the most common execution method until 1987, when lethal
injection took over as the predominant method.4
Russell Bucklew is hardly the first person to challenge Missouri's lethal
injection protocol - and for good reason.5 Lethal injection has resulted in a
much greater proportion of botched executions than any other execution
method, at 7.12%, with 75 out of 1054 executions by lethal injection going
wrong.6 Given the high rate of botched executions, challenged lethal injection
* B.A., University of Missouri, 2017; J.D. Candidate, University of Missouri School
of Law, 2021; Editor in Chief, Missouri Law Review, 2020-2021. I would like to
thank Dean Litton for his insight and guidance during the writing of this Note, as well
as the Missouri Law Review for its assistance in the editorial process.
1. Missouri, DEATH PENALTY INFO. CTR., https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/state-
and-federal-info/state-by-state/missouri [perma.cc/ZR97-B67D].
2. Id.
3. Id.
4. Id.
5. See Taylor v. Crawford, 487 F.3d 1072, 1074 (8th Cir. 2007); Clemons v.
Crawford, 585 F.3d 1119 (8th Cir. 2009).
6. Botched    Executions,   DEATH      PENALTY     INFO.     CTR.,
https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/executions/botched-executions [perma.cc/264G-CT9T]
(Botched executions occur when there is a breakdown in, or departure from, the
'protocol' for a particular method of execution ... Botched executions are 'those
involving unanticipated problems or delays that caused, at least arguably, unnecessary
agony for the prisoner or that reflect gross incompetence of the executioner.). The
botched execution rates are as follows for the other methods used: 3.12% of hangings,

Published by University of Missouri School of Law Scholarship Repository, 2020


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