Hustler’s Larry Flynt Fights Execution of Man Who Shot, Paralyzed Him

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 11 2013 9:18 PM

Hustler’s Larry Flynt Fights Execution of Man Who Shot, Paralyzed Him

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Publisher Larry Flynt at the American Civil Liberties Union Bill of Rights dinner in 2006.

Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Larry Flynt is trying to stop the execution of the man whose attack put the publisher of Hustler magazine in a wheelchair. Flynt, who was paralyzed in 1978 by bullet shot by Joseph Franklin, filed a motion in conjunction with the ACLU to halt Franklin’s execution in Missouri, scheduled for Nov. 20. Flynt, according to the ACLU of Missouri, “has advocated that Franklin should be punished by spending the remainder of his life in prison, rather than be killed by the state and put out of his misery.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that Flynt has become “increasingly more vocal” about sparing Franklin’s life. In a column last month in the Hollywood Reporter, Flynt wrote: “In all the years since the shooting, I have never come face-to-face with Franklin. I would love an hour in a room with him and a pair of wire-cutters and pliers, so I could inflict the same damage on him that he inflicted on me. But, I do not want to kill him, nor do I want to see him die.”

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Here’s more on Joseph Franklin, from the Los Angeles Times:

Franklin, who told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1995 that he had changed his name to honor Joseph Paul Goebbels, the Nazi minister of propaganda, has been convicted of eight racially motivated murders in several states. In Missouri, he was convicted of using a hunting rifle to kill a man outside a St. Louis synagogue in 1977. He has told authorities that he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party. In addition to his convictions, he has admitted blowing up a Tennessee synagogue and the home of a lobbyist in Maryland. He also claimed responsibility for trying to kill civil rights leader Vernon Jordan and for shooting Flynt in 1978 because he was upset at interracial photo spreads in the sex magazine.

Missouri has come under scrutiny for its use of the drug propofol in its lethal injections and last month delayed a scheduled execution after the German manufacturer of the drug objected to its use in executions. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Missouri has said it will revise the ingredients of its death cocktail in time to execute Franklin.” “I find it totally absurd that a government that forbids killing is allowed to use that same crime as punishment,” Flynt said in a statement.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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