White racist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin was executed early on 20 November morning in Missouri. He was executed hours later than scheduled because of last-minute attempts to delay his execution.
He tried several legal moves to get the execution delayed. In his last attempt, his lawyers said that the drug would violate the Constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. However the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his latest appeal saying that his lawyers had not provided enough evidence to warrant a stay of execution.
Franklin was convicted and condemned to death for killing Gerald Gordon, 42, and wounding two other men in a St. Louis-area synagogue parking lot in 1977.
He was also linked to the death of 18 other people. He admitted to the attempted assassinations of Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt in 1978 and civil rights leader Vernon Jordan in 1980.
Flynt, who was paralyzed by Franklin’s bullet, has called for mercy for Franklin saying “the government has no business at all being in the business of killing people.”
Franklin was the first inmate in Missouri put to death under the state’s new execution protocol. According to reports, Franklin declined to make a final statement.
He wore black-rimmed glasses with long hair placed behind his ears. He swallowed hard as five grams of pentobarbital were administered. He took a couple of heavy breaths then stopped breathing.
Franklin, in the days leading up to the execution, said in several interviews that he was sorry for his crimes and was no longer a racist.