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Franklin speaks as his impending execution nears

James Franklin speaks with a Fox 2 reporter less than 48-hours before his scheduled execution. James Franklin speaks with a Fox 2 reporter less than 48-hours before his scheduled execution. Image source: Fox 2 News

   White supremacist Joseph Franklin is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon refused Monday to grant him clemency.  

   While serving time for three other murders, Franklin confessed to killing 42 year old Gerald Gordon in a sniper attack outside a Richmond Heights synagogue in 1977.  It's the only murder for which he received the death penalty.

   The condemned man spoke with Fox 2 News Monday.  Franklin says he hasn't reached out to Gordon's wife, because he doesn't want to upset her.  "But I would apologize to her right now," he said.  "Tell her I'm sorry for the horrible crime that I committed and ask for her forgiveness."

   Franklin admitted that he does deserve to die for his crime.  He said he's in a completely different place now, mentally.  He described himself as "indoctrinated" at the time of the murder.  "My mind was just all messed up after having read a whole lot of Nazi literature."

   In 1994 Major Rick Zweifel of the Richmond Heights Police Department took Franklin's confession.  Zweifel says that Franklin expressed regret that he hadn't kill more people.  "He's upset it's against the law," Zweifel said.  "And when I questioned him about what do you mean it's against the law? He says killing Jews."

   Franklin has exhausted his appeals, but has filed a lawsuit to stop his execution based on the method Missouri officials plan to employ.

   If the lawsuit fails, Franklin's execution will be the first performed under Missouri's new drug protocol and the first in the state in three years.

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