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White supremacist executed for 1977 synagogue killing

JTA

November 20, 2013 | 11:56 am

Joseph Paul Franklin on Aug. 29, 2012. Photo by Missouri Department of Corrections/Handout via Reuters

Joseph Paul Franklin on Aug. 29, 2012. Photo by Missouri Department of Corrections/Handout via Reuters

A white supremacist was executed in Missouri for killing a man at a St. Louis-area synagogue in 1977.

Joseph Paul Franklin, 63, was executed early Wednesday morning for the sniper shooting of Gerald Gordon, who was killed outside of the Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel synagogue in October 1977 as he left a bar mitzvah. Franklin also was convicted of seven other murders throughout the United States and claimed credit for 20 deaths between the years of 1977 and 1980.

The Missouri conviction is the only one that carried a death sentence, according to The Associated Press.

The execution had been stayed Tuesday evening by two district court judges due to concerns over the drug used for the execution. The U.S. Supreme Court early Wednesday morning upheld the death sentence and the use of the drug, leading to the execution.

Franklin also bombed a synagogue in Chattanooga, Tenn., in July 1977.

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