Source: Jim Salter / AP / NBC News
A white supremacist serial killer responsible for as many as 20 murders is set to die in Missouri just past midnight Tuesday, the first execution in the state in nearly three years.
Joseph Paul Franklin, 63, 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.
Franklin has also admitted to shooting and wounding civil rights leader Vernon Jordan and Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, who has been paralyzed from the waist down since the attack in 1978. Flynt has also sued to stop Franklin’s execution because he doesn’t believe the death penalty is a deterrent.
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