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

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

November 19th, 2013 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

In this file photo taken Monday, Oct. 19, 1998, Joseph Paul Franklin sits in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

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