White supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin was executed Wednesday morning after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his final requests for a stay, the Missouri Department of Public Safety said. The execution, which had been scheduled for shortly after midnight Wednesday, was delayed for hours because of court appeals. Franklin was administered a lethal injection at 6:07 a.m. CT (7:07 a.m. ET). He died ten minutes later. Franklin refused his final meal and gave no final statement. He was on death row for the 1977 murder of Gerald Gordon outside a synagogue in St. Louis. He was blamed for 22 killings between 1977 and 1980 in a bid to start a race war. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon denied clemency for Franklin on Monday, saying he had committed “merciless acts of violence, fueled by hate.” In addition to the killings, Franklin admitted to the attempted assassinations of Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt in 1978 and civil rights leader Vernon Jordan in 1980. Flynt, who was paralyzed by Franklin’s bullet, has called for clemency for Franklin, saying “the government has no business at all being in the business of killing people.”
The U.S. Supreme Court denied Franklin’s requests to step in and halt the execution. Missouri had planned to use propofol, the surgical anesthetic made infamous by the death of pop star Michael Jackson. But Nixon reversed that decision after being warned that the European Union — whose members forbid capital punishment — might halt shipments of the drug, leading to shortages for medical purposes.