The state of Missouri went through with the execution of Joseph Paul Franklin, who was a white supremacist serial killer that picked Jews and blacks as his targets. Franklin’s victims included an interracial couple from Wisconsin.
Franklin, who was a self-confessed white supremacist, was found guilty and then sentenced to death for the murder of Gerald Gordon, age 42, and injuring two other men in a St. Louis synagogue parking lot in 1977. He was also connected to the deaths of nearly 20 other people.
Joseph Paul Franklin, age 63, was pronounced deceased at 6:17 a.m. CST Wednesday at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center located at Bonne Terre, stated Mike O’Connell, a spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Public Safety.
The execution was allowed to proceed after the United States Supreme Court cleared the way by removing two stays which would have permitted Franklin to contest Missouri’s new fatal drug protocol. He could have argued that he was mentally impaired and should not be executed. The stays were approved on Tuesday by two federal judges and the state of Missouri instantly appealed.
Joseph Paul Franklin became the 35th inmate to be executed in America in 2013 and the first in Missouri in almost three years, according to statistics released by the Death Penalty Information Center.
The condemned killer was sentenced for killing eight people between the late 1970’s and 1980’s in attacks that were racially motivated all around the United States. The victims included two African-American teenagers in Ohio, two African-American men in Utah and the Wisconsin couple.
He also admitted that he shot Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt in 1978. The bullet meant to kill Flynt ended up paralyzing the publisher. Regardless, Flynt contended that Franklin should instead be forced to serve life in prison and not be put to death.
Joseph Paul Franklin was acquitted of the attempted murder of civil rights leader Vernon Jordan in 1980. This was outside a Marriott Inn in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He later confessed his involvement in the shooting.
Franklin was the first inmate in Missouri that was executed under Missouri’s newest execution procedure. Last month, the state changed its protocols to permit a compounded pentobarbital, which is a fast-acting barbiturate, to be used in a mortal dosage for Missouri executions.
The state also explained that it would make the pharmacy, which mixed up the drug, an official member of its “execution team.” This would permit the pharmacy’s identity to remain anonymous.
Missouri is just one of numerous states across the U.S. that has been looking for compound pharmacies that would mix up certain drugs for executions. This is because an increasing number of pharmaceutical companies are refusing to permit their drugs be used for such purposes.
However, the practice of using compounding pharmacies is controversial at best, at this time, because the drug mixtures being made up at the pharmacies have not yet been approved the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Critics state that the usage of such drugs might easily cause unnecessary distress and failed executions for condemned killers such as Joseph Paul Franklin, but states such as Missouri continue to go forward.
Franklin was just one of 24 death row inmates who challenged Missouri’s legal rights with the newest execution procedure.
By granting a stay on Tuesday, U.S. Judge Nanette Laughrey took note that the state of Missouri had given out three different practices in the same amount of months prior to Franklin’s execution date and also as recently as just five days ago.
Joseph Paul Franklin has not been given any time to research the pain risk that is related to the department’s newest protocol. He does not understand about the quality of the pentobarbital provided, and the record of the source of the pentobarbital, Laughrey wrote in the stay order entered in federal court in Jefferson City, Missouri. Regardless, Franklin has been was executed as per his sentence for murders he was convicted of committing over three decades ago.
By Kimberly Ruble
The Chicago Tribune