Joseph Franklin Executed: Last-Minute Efforts to Halt Execution Overturned by Supreme Court

Nov 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm
Joseph Franklin
Joseph Franklin

Joseph Paul Franklin -- a former white supremacist sentenced to death in Missouri for killing a man at a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977 -- was executed early Wednesday morning after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned two stays of execution from two separate Missouri judges.

Updated at 7:35 a.m. with confirmation of Franklin's execution. Updated at 9:10 p.m. with second stay of execution.

Two federal judges separately stopped the execution late Tuesday night in an effort to give him time to challenge Missouri's execution order and protocol in court.

The supreme court upheld a federal appeals court ruling overturning the stays of execution without comment, according to the Associated Press.

Franklin was scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday morning (Tuesday night), but the legal maneuvering delayed the execution by six hours.

Franklin was pronounced dead at 6:17 a.m. Wednesday morning. It took five grams of pentobarbital just ten minutes to stop his breathing, according to the Associated Press.

Governor Jay Nixon denied clemency to Franklin, calling his crimes "cowardly and calculated." The Missouri Supreme Court also denied Franklin's appeals.

In a surprise move, U.S. District Court Judge Nanette Laughrey granted a stay of execution late Tuesday afternoon to give him time to resolve his lawsuit claiming Missouri's new execution protocol is cruel and unusual punishment.

Read more about Laughrey's effort to stay Franklin's execution after the jump.