Larry Flynt wants to stop Missouri from executing the man whose bullet put the publisher of Hustler magazine in a wheelchair for life. Over the weekend, Flynt and the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit to force the state to release documents on how the state determines the process by which it kills prisoners.
Joseph Paul Franklin, 63, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Nov. 20. Missouri last month delayed the execution of convicted murderer Allen Nicklasson after the German manufacturer of the drug propofol objected to its use in the deadly mixture of drugs designed to execute inmates.
Like many states, Missouri has had a complicated relationship with the death penalty, which was effectively suspended by the U.S. Supreme Court on constitutional grounds in 1972, but reinstated in 1976. Legal attacks on the death penalty have continued ever since and the current wave includes questions about the drugs used in the execution and whether they really stop unusual pain and suffering.
Companies in Europe, where capital punishment is generally banned, have often appealed to U.S. authorities not to use their products — designed to aid healing – as weapons of death.
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