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US court halts execution of Missouri murderer

A US court on Tuesday ordered an eleventh-hour stay of execution for a convicted murderer and rapist in Missouri, who argued that a rare medical condition risked making the lethal injection unconstitutional.

WASHINGTON: A US court on Tuesday ordered an eleventh-hour stay of execution for a convicted murderer and rapist in Missouri, who argued that a rare medical condition risked making the lethal injection unconstitutional.

It was the second US execution delayed by a court since an Oklahoma man's botched execution prompted accusations of torture.

Russell Bucklew argued that a rare medical condition which leaves him with growths on his head and neck creates significant risk that he will die an agonising death -- making it unconstitutional.

A tormented and painful death is in violation of the US Constitution's Eighth Amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment.

In Oklahoma, Clayton Lockett, a convicted killer and rapist, was put to death on April 29 by lethal injection in a process that took 43 minutes, well over the expected time of a little over 10 minutes.

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