Supreme Court

Supreme Court Denies Stay of Execution For Serial Killer

Joseph Paul Franklin's lawyer had raised concerns over the use of a new execution drug

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The U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition early Wednesday seeking a stay of execution for white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin, who is scheduled to die in Missouri.

The decision upheld a federal appeals court's ruling that lifted a stay of execution issued late Tuesday, just hours before Franklin had been scheduled to die by lethal injection for killing 42-year-old Gerald Gordon in a sniper attack outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977.

Franklin's lawyer had launched three separate appeals: One claiming his 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.

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