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Confessed white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin has been executed after two federal stays were vacated just after midnight Wednesday.
U.S. District Court Judge Nanette Laughery ruled late Tuesday afternoon that a lawsuit filed by Franklin and 21 other death-row inmates challenging Missouri's execution protocol must first be resolved.
Later in the day, a second federal judge stayed the execution, saying a defense appeal over Franklin's mental competency needs more review.
After an appeal by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, the 8th circuit U.S. District Court vacated both stays.
Only the U.S. Supreme Court can intervene to stop Franklin's execution now.
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.
EB I-70 is shut down at St. Louis Avenue near downtown as police investigate a shooting. Officials didn't say when they expect the highway to reopen, but advise drivers to use an alternate route. Police say a 26 year old man was shot by someone in a passing car near Cass and North 13th. The victim is in stable condition. Police are searching for suspects.
The U.S. Department of Justice has announced it is launching an investigation into the St. Louis County Family Court.
The Justice Department is looking into whether the court is depriving juveniles of their constitutional rights.
The department says the focus will be on whether the court provides the required due process for all children appearing for delinquency proceedings, and whether the court provides juveniles equal protection regardless of race.
In a statement released Monday, Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels said, “Protecting the constitutional rights of all children appearing in court is critical to achieving our goals of improving juvenile courts, increasing the public’s confidence in the juvenile justice system and maintaining public safety.”