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.
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.
ST LOUIS (AP) - Serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin is getting support ahead of his scheduled execution from an unlikely source: Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, who was paralyzed by a bullet apparently fired by Franklin 35 years ago.
Franklin is set for execution Nov. 20 in Missouri for killing a man in 1977, but he's claimed responsibility for killing as many as 21 people nationwide. He admitted to shooting Flynt in 1978 but was never charged.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the motion on Flynt's behalf on Saturday, arguing that Missouri's execution process is too secretive. The motion seeks to unseal court records related to the process.
Franklin has been convicted in five murders. He was given the death penalty for killing Gerald Gordon outside a St. Louis-area synagogue in 1977.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Porn publisher Larry Flynt says he doesn't want to see the man whose gunshots paralyzed him 35 years ago put to death for his crimes.
In an essay published Thursday in The Hollywood Reporter, Flynt says that while he'd love to take pliers and a pair of wire cutters to Joseph Paul Franklin, he doesn't believe in the death penalty.
The Hustler magazine publisher says keeping Franklin locked in a tiny prison cell for the rest of his life is a greater punishment.
Franklin has been in prison since 1980 for a string of shootings that left five people dead and others wounded.
He is scheduled to be executed November 20th in Missouri.
Franklin targeted blacks, Jews and people like Flynt, who he believed promoted interracial relations.
Most of the Missouri Department of Corrections' supply of propofol is headed back to the Louisiana supplier. Supplier Morris and Dickson requested the drugs be returned a year ago and the state says they are complying with the request.
The state's plan to use the anesthetic for executions has come under fire of late. The vast majority of the drug is manufactured in Germany and the European Union is considering export controls if it is used in an execution.
It is unclear what effect the return will have on planned executions--the first scheduled for October 23. The Post-Dispatch reports that the state still has some propofol in stock.
A death penalty case in St. Charles County is the first in more than a decade.
Sixty-three year old Terry Culberson is accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend, 55 year old Dorothy Hall in the face five times. Her body was found inside Culberson's O'Fallon, Missouri mobile home on February 5, 2013.
St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar says the brutality of the murder was a factor in deciding to ask for the death penalty. "St. Charles County has not requested a death penalty since 2002, so it's a very unique situation," he said.
Lohmar says Culberson's past conviction for assault with the intent to kill was also a factor. A trial date has not yet been set.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A group representing Missouri anesthesiologists is urging the state to drop plans to use propofol in an upcoming execution, saying the fallout could jeopardize the availability of the anesthetic for thousands of U.S. hospitals and clinics that rely on it.
The Missouri Society of Anesthesiologists statement on Monday followed an Associated Press report last week citing possible European export controls if propofol is used in a U.S. execution. Missouri is the only state planning to use the drug.
Propofol is far and away the most commonly used anesthetic in the U.S., and around 85 percent of it is made in Europe. The European Union opposes the death penalty and is weighing whether to limit export, raising concerns about a potential U.S. propofol shortage.
LEBANON, Mo. (AP) — A jury has recommended the death penalty for a man convicted of killing an elderly couple who interrupted a burglary at their south-central Missouri home in July 2010.
The jury that was brought to Laclede County from Franklin County deliberated about four hours Friday afternoon before reaching its recommendation for 33-year-old Jesse Driskill of Lebanon, Missouri.
The same panel convicted Driskill on Wednesday of first-degree murder in the deaths of 82-year-old Johnnie Wilson and 76-year-old Coleen Wilson at their secluded home near Lebanon. Both were shot, and Coleen Wilson was raped before their killer tried to burn their bodies.
Laclede County Circuit Judge Kenneth Hayden will consider the jury's recommendation when he sentences Driskill on November 5th.
Besides murder, Driskill was also convicted of rape, sodomy, burglary and armed criminal action.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court's decision to move ahead with two executions this year is being questioned by some death penalty observers and opponents.
The state High Court on Wednesday set execution dates for condemned killers Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin.
Missouri plans to become the first-ever state to use the anesthetic propofol for lethal injection. Propofol was used in the death of pop star Michael Jackson.
States are scrambling because makers of drugs previously used in executions now prohibit their use.
Executions have been on hold in Missouri since the court declined last August to set dates for six inmates.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster applauded the court's decision. But Death Penalty Information Center executive director Richard Dieter says using propofol will essentially be "an experiment with a human subject."
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of a death row inmate who shot a suburban St. Louis police officer.
The court's 5-2 decision yesterday dealt with Kevin Johnson. He was convicted of fatally shooting Kirkwood Police Sgt. Bill McEntee in 2005.
Johnson's current attorneys raised about a dozen claims that his original attorneys were ineffective. Among other things, they claimed the presence of numerous uniformed police in the courtroom and halls could have influenced jurors to find Johnson guilty.
Judge George Draper III rejected that argument in the Supreme Court's majority opinion.
But judges Patricia Breckenridge and Laura Denvir Stith dissented. They said Johnson's attorneys should have objected to the police presence, and he deserves a hearing on whether he got a fair trial.