Nation & World News

Larry Flynt Seeks To Block Execution Of Man Who Shot Him

By Alan Greenblatt on November 13th, 2013

Larry Flynt doesn’t want the man who shot him to die.

The pornography publisher was shot and paralyzed in 1978 by Joseph Paul Franklin, a white supremacist who objected to a photo spread of an African American man and a white woman published in Hustler magazine.

Franklin is scheduled to be executed on Nov. 20 for a 1977 murder committed outside a synagogue in a St. Louis suburb.

“A life spent in a 3-by-6-foot cell is far harsher than the quick release of a lethal injection,” Flynt wrote last month in The Hollywood Reporter. “I have had many years in this wheelchair to think about this very topic.”

On Saturday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri filed a motion on Flynt’s behalf to unseal documents regarding the case. The ACLU has been seeking to learn the identity of the anesthesiologist who will perform the lethal injection on Franklin.

“Flynt has learned about the secrecy shrouding Missouri’s execution process,” the filing states. “This includes recent revelations that Missouri appears to have used unsavory methods to secure and maintain execution drugs and tried to hide that and other information from the public.”

Missouri is among several states that have struggled recently with questions regarding the use of pharmaceuticals in executions.

Although the ACLU argues that Flynt has an interest in the case, Franklin is being executed for other crimes. “Franklin has confessed to eight murders and the nonfatal shootings of Flynt and civil rights leader Vernon Jordan, and is suspected in eight other killings,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Jordan, a good friend of former President Bill Clinton, has not commented publicly on Franklin’s execution.

In 1976 — four years prior to being shot in the back by Franklin — Jordan wrote an editorial calling for the Supreme Court to abolish the death penalty, which he called a “barbarous practice.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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