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.
Joseph Paul Franklin faces execution one minute after midnight on Wednesday. It would be the first in Missouri in nearly three years and the first ever using a single execution drug, the sedative pentobarbital.
Attorney Jennifer Herndon wrote that the use of pentobarbital from a compounding pharmacy puts Joseph Paul Franklin at risk of an “excruciatingly painful execution.”
The Corrections Department said in a news release that it will use the sedative pentobarbital. The Death Penalty Information Center said 13 states use the drug for executions.
Gov. Jay Nixon halted Allen Nicklasson’s Oct. 23 execution following doctor protests along with threats from the anti-death penalty European Union to limit the drug’s export.