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Missouri prisoner’s execution in limbo after Supreme Court stay

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The U.S. Supreme Court was weighing Wednesday the fate of a Missouri killer sentenced to death, a day after his execution was halted at the 11th hour.

Russell Bucklew had been set to die at 12:01 am (0501 GMT) on Wednesday before a flurry of legal proceedings late Tuesday ended with a temporary stay issued by the Supreme Court.

Lawyers for the inmate had argued that a rare medical condition suffered by Bucklew put him at risk of suffering excruciating pain during his execution, making it unconstitutional.

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Bucklew, convicted in 1996 of murdering a love rival and raping a former girlfriend, could yet face execution later Wednesday at midnight (0500 GMT Thursday), depending on how the Supreme Court rules during its deliberations.

If Bucklew’s execution goes ahead, he would be the first inmate to die since a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma last month which stirred fresh debate about capital punishment in the United States.

Bucklew’s lawyers have argued that an unusual medical condition that leaves him with growths on his head and neck creates significant risk he will die a painful death — making his execution unconstitutional.

Death penalty states across the U.S. have faced a barrage of legal actions challenging the origin of drugs used in lethal injections.

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Oklahoma used an untested cocktail of drugs during the botched procedure because some drug suppliers have ceased making the compounds usually used in executions available.

Some US states have turned to compounding pharmacies as a source of the drugs, but the future of that option is in doubt, as state governments review their execution procedures.

Despite the questions over lethal injection drugs, a recent study found that 59 percent of Americans remained in favor of capital punishment, with 35 percent against.

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[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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Trump has figured out how to get taxpayers to renovate one of his golf courses: MSNBC panel

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President Donald Trump has figured out how to have taxpayers pay to renovate his Trump National Doral Miami golf course, according to an analysis by MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle.

"Before setting himself on fire on Ukraine yesterday, Mick Mulvaney came into the White House briefing room to break to the nation the fact the that the Trump Doral golf resort turns out to be -- in his estimation, organically, just sitting there -- the best possible place to have a G-7 Summit of world leaders," MSNBC's Brian Williams reported. "That was provision number one. There’s no better place that we can find. Number two was, the president will not profit from said G-7."

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Bill Maher reveals plan to ‘bribe’ Trump with one billion dollars — for him to leave office

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The Constitution has two mechanisms to remove President Donald Trump from office prior to his term ending on January 20, 2021: impeachment and the 25th Amendment.

HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher noted that Trump could also choose to resign.

Maher waved around a $1 million check that he said he would give to Trump to quit.

He said he also knew 1,000 people who would do the same -- which would land Trump over $1 billion.

Maher said even poor people would pawn their wedding rings to add to the pot.

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Trump can’t fire Mulvaney because nobody else wants to be his chief of staff: report

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White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will likely stay on at the White House despite his public confession of a quid pro quo in the Ukraine scandal at the center of the impeachment inquiry, The New York Times reported Friday.

"But Mr. Mulvaney’s job has been anything but normal since the news conference on Thursday at which he seemingly undermined the Trump administration’s strategy for avoiding impeachment by acknowledging that Mr. Trump had sought a quid pro quo for providing Ukraine with American aid," the newspaper reported. "In the chaotic aftermath, the president’s Republican allies are questioning Mr. Mulvaney’s savvy and intelligence even as the Trump campaign is defiantly turning one of his lines from the news conference into a T-shirt."

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