Joseph Paul Franklin
Los Angeles Times | November 20, 2013 | 4:34 AM
Missouri corrections officials have put to death Joseph Paul Franklin, 63, a white supremacist serial killer who targeted blacks and Jews.
The execution comes after the U.S. Supreme Court early Wednesday upheld a federal appeals court decision that overturned a lower court's stay of Franklin's execution.
Franklin was convicted of seven murders and suspected in others. He also admitted to shooting civil rights leader Vernon Jordan and Hustler magazine founder Larry Flynt.
ST. LOUIS — No one knows exactly how many atrocities Joseph Paul Franklin committed as he crossed the country more than three decades ago, fueled by hatred of blacks and Jews. Along the way, he bombed a synagogue, robbed banks, shot and wounded a porn icon — and killed, by his own account, nearly two dozen people.
The execution was the first in Missouri using a single drug, pentobarbital.
Franklin's fate was sealed early Wednesday when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal appeals court ruling that overturned two stays granted Tuesday evening by district court judges in Missouri.
Franklin also admitted to shooting and wounding civil rights leader Vernon Jordan and Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, who has been paralyzed from the waist down since the attack in 1978.
Franklin, a paranoid schizophrenic who grew up in Mobile, Ala., was in his mid-20s in 1977 when he began drifting across America, robbing up to 16 banks to fund his travels.
He bombed a synagogue in Chattanooga, Tenn., in July that year. No one was hurt, but the killings began soon after that, many of them sniper shootings.
Franklin had a particular dislike for interracial couples — several of his victims were black men and the white women with them.