published Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Judge grants stay of execution hours before Chattanooga serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin scheduled to die

  • photo
    In this file photo taken Monday, Oct. 19, 1998, Joseph Paul Franklin sits in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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Joseph Paul Franklin

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.

Franklin bombed a synagogue and shot an interracial couple in Chattanooga in the 1970s.

U.S. District Court Judge Nanette Laughrey ruled late Tuesday afternoon that a lawsuit filed by Franklin and 20 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.

Read our previous story: Confessions of a Chattanooga serial killer

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