Joseph Paul Franklin meets a controversial end

On November 20, 2013, Joseph Paul Franklin, a convicted murderer and arsonist met his death with a lethal injection of  Pentobarbital. After being in prison for 15 years , he was charged with 6 life sentences and a death sentence after being charged with several murders and  two attempted murders. Franklin’s last days were in the Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Corrrectional Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri but he was on death row in Potosi correctional center near Mineral Point, Missouri. His last request to be moved to a center of his choice but it was rejected by a judge.

He was a known white supremacist murderer who killed over 20 people including interracial couples and supporters of interracial mixing. His attempted murder of Larry Flynt and Gene Reeves earned him  many court cases. His serial killer signature was in the type of people he would kill and the type weapons he used. To carry out his crimes he would use guns, firebombs, or beat them to death. In an interview before his death a reporter asked him why he killed so many interracial couples or supporters, he said self-righteously “I was simply doing the will of God”. Franklin rejected his final meal, which surprised many because prisoners on death row usually use the meal as an indulgence of the life they are going to lose hours later.

When asked in another interview he said with a stoic expression that he deserved the death penalty but he did not apologize for murdering all those people. One of Franklin’s last requests was to have the drug Pentobarbital changed to Propofol. His lawyers stated “Pentobarbital carried a high risk of contamination and prolonged unnecessary pain beyond that which is required to achieve death.” The Supreme Court ruled that Pentobarbital was the better drug to use for execution even though it is a class D drug which shows potential risk in humans. Pentobarbital is a barbiturate while Propofol is a general anaesthetic and shows no risks in humans. The lawyers wanted to reduce the amount pain in the transition, but many argued that he was paying for what he had done to his victims, one of which survived the attack which left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Many people who testified for Franklin’s lethal injection to stay the same said that he himself said it is his punishment for killing and wounding many people who were part of the interracial statistic. After, asking some sophomore students what they believed the drug of choice should be many agreed it should be the drug (Pentobarbital) should be used because Franklin deserves to suffer for bringing about the death of so many innocent people. Many of them stated that his victims were getting their full justice with his execution and how it was going to be carried out. I agree with my fellow peers because if someone commits more than horrendous crime they should feel the complete wrath of the law. Although, there are many arguments against the way the death penalty should be carried out people agree that whatever punishment someone gets should be a way for the family of the victims to get a kind of closure that will help avenge their lost loved one.


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