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Larry Flynt Sues Missouri, Says State Execution Process Is Too Secretive

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin is getting support from an unlikely source: Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, who was paralyzed by a bullet apparently fired by Franklin 35 years ago.

Franklin is set for execution Nov. 20 in Missouri for a 1977 murder. But he’s claimed responsibility for killing more than 20 people, and admitted shooting Flynt in 1978 but was never charged.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a court motion Saturday on Flynt’s behalf, arguing that Missouri’s execution process is too secretive and demanded more information be made public.

“There has been far too much secrecy clouding the state’s execution plans already, which makes it difficult to trust that the state is acting on our behalf in an ethical manner,” said Jeffrey A. Mittman, the ACLU-MO’s executive director.

“I find it totally absurd that a government that forbids killing is allowed to use that same crime as punishment,” Larry Flynt said in a release. “But, until the death penalty is abolished, the public has a right to know the details about how the state plans to execute people on its behalf.”

Flynt recently wrote a column in the Hollywood Reporter, saying execution was vengeance, not justice. He said Franklin should be punished by spending the remainder of his life in prison, rather than be killed by the state and put out of his misery.

Franklin has been convicted in five murders. He was given the death penalty for killing Gerald Gordon outside a St. Louis-area synagogue in 1977.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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