ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has refused to halt the execution of white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin, calling his crime in Missouri a "cowardly and calculated shooting."
Nixon's office announced the decision Monday afternoon.
Franklin is scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing 42-year-old Gerald Gordon in a sniper attack outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977. It was one of as many as 20 killings committed by Franklin, who targeted blacks and Jews in a cross-country killing spree from 1977 to 1980. He was convicted of seven other murders but the Missouri case was the only one resulting in a death sentence.
The execution would be the first in Missouri in nearly three years and the first ever in the state to use a single execution drug, the sedative pentobarbital.
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - A military jury has sentenced Maj. Nidal Hasan to death for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, giving the Army psychiatrist what he believed would be a path to martyrdom in the attack on unarmed fellow soldiers.
The American-born Muslim, who has said he acted to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from American aggression, never denied being the gunman. In opening statements, he acknowledged to the jury that he pulled the trigger in a crowded waiting room where troops were getting final medical checkups before deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hasan could become the first American soldier executed in more than half a century once automatic appeals are exhausted. But the lead prosecutor assured jurors that Hasan would "never be a martyr" despite his attempt to tie the attack to his Islamic faith.
Gale Hunt, whose son was killed in the shooting, told reporters, "Anyone who would use their religion to commit acts of terrorism serves no god except their own hatred and self-interest."