June 28, 2010
Jefferson City, MO - Attorney General Chris Koster today released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court decision to deny cert in the matter Clemons v. Crawford:
"Today's decision clears up any lingering ambiguities related to the constitutionality of Missouri's death penalty protocols. Legal hurdles have held the imposition of justice in Missouri in abeyance for 12 months. With today's ruling, these hurdles have been set aside."
The Attorney General's office has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to set an execution date for convicted neo-Nazi mass-murderer Joseph Franklin. Today, the Attorney General repeated his hope the Court will address this issue expeditiously.
Franklin was convicted in 1997 for shooting and killing Gerald Gordon, who was standing in the parking lot of a St. Louis area synagogue after a bar mitzvah. Franklin also was convicted of shooting two other men who were in the synagogue parking lot. While Franklin will be executed for his crimes in Missouri, he also was convicted for the murder of two African-Americans in Utah, the murder of an interracial couple in Wisconsin, and the bombing of a synagogue in Tennessee. Franklin also has claimed responsibility for the shooting of Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit had put Missouri's death-penalty protocol on hold while it reviewed certain facts in Clemons v. Crawford. The Eighth Circuit's ruling led to the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court.