'The defense argued in its petition that the fact Bower has spent three decades on death row amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Constitution.'
We don't know if this the reason that the justices are going to hear the appeal.
Maybe he would have prefered to have been executed sooner? This is faulty logic, because it says that we want people to spend life in prison because life in prison is cruel and unusual punishment. I suppose that one could argue that 30 years on death row is worse that 30 years in prison.
In my view, states have a right to determine the method of punishment. Barring obvious cruelty, I don't see why the Supreme Court would be involved.
However, Penn and Teller made an argument that I agree with: If we accept the notion that one innocent person will be executed, then this makes murders of all of us. This is not the same as accepting a risk when you drive your car or engage in other risky behavior. People are making a deliberate decision to kill other people.