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UPDATE: Joseph Paul Franklin put to death

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UPDATED Wednesday, November 20, 2013 --- 6:30 a.m.

White supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin has been put to death in Missouri. It was the state's first execution in nearly three years.

The 63-year-old Franklin targeted blacks and Jews in a cross-country killing spree from 1977 to 1980. He was executed Wednesday at the state prison in Bonne Terre for killing Gerald Gordon in a sniper shooting outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977.

Franklin was convicted of seven other murders across the country and claimed responsibility for up to 20 overall. The Missouri case was the only one that brought a death sentence.

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 decision overturning stays granted Tuesday.

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UPDATED Wednesday, November 20, 2013 --- 5:48 a.m.

BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition seeking a stay of execution for white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin, who's set to die in Missouri.

The Supreme Court's decision early Wednesday upholds a federal appeals court's ruling that lifted a stay of execution a judge had issued earlier.

Franklin's killing spree included a man's slaying outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, November 20, 2013 --- 3:31 a.m.

BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) -- A federal appeals court in Missouri has upheld the execution of white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin, restoring the state's plans to kill Franklin just hours after the execution was blocked.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled early Wednesday that Missouri could proceed with Franklin's execution. The order came just hours after a lower court blocked the execution and claimed the state's disputed protocol for administering lethal injection must be resolved.

The latest ruling means that only the U.S. Supreme Court can intervene and stop the execution.

The lower court judge said the state had not satisfied questions about the production of the pentobarbital Missouri planned to use. The judge chastised Missouri's frequently changing lethal injection plans, calling them a "frustratingly moving target."

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, November 19, 2013 --- 4:43 p.m.

Note: Joseph Paul Franklin killed two people in Madison in 1977. We'll have more on this tonight on NBC15 News at 5 and 6.

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A federal judge in Missouri has given a stay of execution to white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin just hours before his scheduled death.

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.

The 63-year-old inmate was 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.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, November 19, 2013 --- 4:20 p.m.

Note: Joseph Paul Franklin killed two people in Madison in 1977. We'll have more on this tonight on NBC15 News at 5 and 6.

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The Missouri Supreme Court has denied appeals on behalf of white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin, hours before his scheduled execution.

The court refused Tuesday to grant a stay based on three separate appeals: One claiming Franklin's life should be spared because he is mentally ill, one claiming faulty jury instruction when he was given the death penalty and one raising concern about Missouri's first-ever use of a new execution drug, pentobarbital.

The rulings were made without comment.

Appeals are still pending before federal courts.

Franklin is scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for a sniper killing at a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977. He has also been convicted of seven other murders in four other states and has claimed responsibility for up to 20 killings.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 --- 7:29 p.m.

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- No one knows 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.

Even among the hard-core criminals on Missouri's death row, Franklin is perhaps the most notorious, killing and maiming victims while shooting from a vacant building, a grassy field and a highway overpass.

Franklin is scheduled to be put to death early Wednesday at a Missouri prison. His attorney says he is a paranoid schizophrenic who was abused as a child. She's asked federal and state courts and Gov. Jay Nixon to halt the execution. All have declined.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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