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Attorney General's News Release

November 20, 2013

Attorney General Koster obtains reversal of stay of Franklinís execution in 8th Circuit Court of Appeals --arguments continuing at this hour in the United States Supreme Court--

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster announced this morning that Joseph Paul Franklin's stays of execution were reversed by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overnight. The Attorney General's office is currently opposing Franklin’s request for a stay from the United States Supreme Court.

On Tuesday evening, federal judges in the Western District of Missouri and the Eastern District of Missouri stayed Franklin's execution scheduled for 12:01 a.m. Wednesday morning. Koster asked the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate both of the district court's stays and obtained orders vacating those stays shortly after 12:30 a.m.. Franklin requested a rehearing in front of the full 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the court denied Franklin's motion shortly before 3:00 a.m.

"It has been 36 years since Joseph Franklin murdered Gerald Gordon in front of his wife and three young daughters simply because of his religious beliefs," said Koster. "Those forever affected by this crime of hate have waited long enough for justice to be done. We are resolute in employing every available legal effort to carry out this lawfully imposed punishment."

Currently, Franklin is seeking a stay from the United States Supreme Court. Koster's response, opposing this final effort to stop his execution, was filed at approximately 4:00 a.m.

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