Joseph Paul Franklin sits in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court at the start of his murder trial in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1998.
(Photo: Al Behrman, AP)
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A federal judge in Missouri has given a stay of execution to white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin just hours before his scheduled death.
U.S. District Court Judge Nanette Laughery ruled late Tuesday afternoon that a lawsuit filed by Franklin and 21 other death-row inmates challenging Missouri's execution protocol must first be resolved.
The 63-year-old inmate was scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing 42-year-old Gerald Gordon in a sniper attack outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977.
It was one of as many as 20 killings committed by Franklin, who targeted blacks and Jews in a cross-country killing spree from 1977 to 1980.
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