July 1, 2013
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster again today called on the Missouri Supreme Court to set execution dates for Joseph Franklin and Allen Nicklasson, saying further delays threaten the state's ability to carry out capital punishment.
Last August, the Supreme Court issued an order saying that Koster's May 2012 request to set execution dates was premature until questions on the use of propofol in executions are settled. Koster said, however, that waiting until federal litigation is complete may prevent the State from administering capital punishment at all, noting that the Missouri Department of Corrections' supply of propofol is limited, and much of its remaining supply will expire by next spring.
"For nearly a decade, the mere pendency of federal litigation has been used as an artificial hurdle, unauthorized by law or federal court order, to prevent the State from carrying out the death penalty," Koster said. "The Court's current position has allowed successive, limited supplies of propofol to reach their expiration dates. Unless the Court changes its current course, the legislature will soon be compelled to fund statutorily-authorized alternative methods of execution to carry out lawful judgments."
The State first asked the Court to set an execution date for Joseph Franklin in June 2009, and for Allen Nicklasson in January 2010.
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.
Nicklasson was found guilty in 1996 of first degree murder for the death of "Good Samaritan" Richard Drummond. Nicklasson was the trigger-man in the 1994 killing of Mr. Drummond, who had offered a ride to Nicklasson, Dennis Skillicorn and Tim DeGraffenreid after their car broke down on Interstate 70. The State executed Dennis Skillicorn in May 2009 for his role in the crime.