Continued from page 3

A woman’s body, her legs blown off, lay on the edge of an inferno consuming other bodies. In the middle if the flames, an arm reached up. Another woman, unconscious and wrapped in a brightly colored cloth, was being carried away in a wheelbarrow on a road strewn with glass shards.

___

Federal court halts Missouri inmate’s execution, citing medical condition; state appeals

BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Attorney General’s office on Tuesday evening appealed a federal appeals court panel’s ruling that temporarily halted the execution of a condemned killer, a ruling that cited concerns about the inmate’s rare medical condition that could cause pain and suffering during lethal injection.

The appeal came soon after a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 ruling, halted the execution of Russell Bucklew. He is scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing a southeast Missouri man in 1996.

“Bucklew’s unrebutted medical evidence demonstrates the requisite sufficient likelihood of unnecessary pain and suffering beyond the constitutionally permissible amount inherent in all executions,” the ruling read.

In a dissenting opinion, appeals court Judge James Loken said Bucklew’s medical evidence “simply does not satisfy the Supreme Court’s rigorous standards” for a stay of execution.

The office of Attorney General Chris Koster asked for a hearing before the full 8th Circuit, saying the panel’s ruling conflicted with previous Supreme Court rulings.

___

GM recalls 2.4 million more vehicles; costs included in $400 million second-quarter charge

DETROIT (AP) - Another day, another recall from General Motors.

At least that’s the way it seems as the automaker reviews safety issues across its line-up of cars and trucks in the wake of a mishandled recall of millions of older small cars.

The number of recalls issued this year by the nation’s top carmaker rose Tuesday to 29 as GM announced four separate actions affecting 2.4 million cars and trucks. While no fatalities were involved in the latest recalls, the problems were serious enough that GM has temporarily halted sales of the vehicles.

GM has recalled 13.6 million vehicles in the U.S. since early February. That’s more than the total number of cars it sold here in the last five years, and already surpasses GM’s previous U.S. recall record of 10.75 million vehicles, set in 2004. By comparison, rival Ford has recalled 1.2 million vehicles in the U.S. this year, while Toyota has recalled 2.9 million, according to federal data and the companies.

The parade of bad news is part of the fallout from GM’s recall of 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars for defective ignition switches - and a consequence of government regulation. GM says it’s redoubling efforts to resolve outstanding safety issues. It’s hiring 35 new safety investigators and is issuing recalls one by one, as soon as a decision is made. GM can’t wait and announce a group of recalls once a month; it’s required by federal law to report defects to the government within five days of discovering them.

Story Continues →