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Judge Criticizes Unknowns in Missouri Execution Details

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Joseph Paul Franklin
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ST. LOUIS (AP) – A federal judge has taken aim at what she says are Missouri’s “unknown” details about its execution drug of choice.

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey granted a stay of execution Tuesday afternoon to serial killer Joseph Franklin. She ruled that challenges to the state’s lethal injection protocol must be resolved before Franklin’s execution moves forward.

Laughrey said the state had instituted a protocol that uses pentobarbital produced from “an unknown source and of unknown composition prepared under unregulated conditions.”

Spokesmen for the Missouri governor and attorney general have refused comment and won’t say whether the state will immediately appeal the stay.

Franklin was scheduled to die just after midnight Wednesday for killing a man in a sniper attack outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977.

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