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Rebooting Missouri's Death Penalty

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When a jurisdiction resumes executions after a gap, it is good to begin with a murderer who is exceptionally depraved even by death row standards.  The execution of Timothy McVeigh, for example, was the first in the federal system in 48 years.

Missouri's recent gap has been considerably shorter, only two years, but nonetheless they have an exceptionally appropriate miscreant set for next Wednesday.  Jim Salter reports for AP:

No one knows exactly how many atrocities Joseph Paul Franklin committed as he crossed the country more than three decades ago, fueled by hatred of blacks and Jews. Along the way he bombed a synagogue, robbed banks, shot and wounded a porn icon -- and killed, by his own account, nearly two dozen people.

Even among the hard-core criminals on Missouri's death row, Franklin is perhaps the most notorious, a cunning killer who picked out victims at random, using marksman skills to murder and maim from a hidden spot in a vacant building, a grassy field and a highway overpass.

Missouri has given up on using propofol for executions and has evidently secured a source of pentobarbital, which is the best one to use if they can get it.  It's use in animal euthanasia is very well established, and it has been used in numerous executions since thiopental became hard to get.

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Good riddance. Why this guy is still alive is beyond me.

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