Larry Flynt Sues Missouri, Wants Assailant Spared From Death

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Larry Flynt and a chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit over the weekend to force the state of Missouri to release documents on how it determines the process by which it kills death-row inmates.

The LFP founder and ACLU Missouri were focusing efforts on Joseph Paul Franklin, the 63-year-old man whose bullet put Flynt in a wheelchair.

Franklin is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Nov. 20.

In a guest column last month in The Hollywood Reporter, Flynt said he has had many years in his wheelchair to think about executions, and he is against the death penalty.

Now Flynt said he will challenge the methodology of execution and the lack of transparency.

On Saturday, Flynt and the ACLU went to court, seeking the documents.

“I find it totally absurd that a government that forbids killing is allowed to use that same crime as punishment,” Flynt said in statement. “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 and the ACLU are placing a focus on sworn testimony by a board-certified anesthesiologist identified as M3. They question the lack of identification and how M3 could be certified.

“The state claims that its executions satisfy Eighth Amendment standards because their execution team includes a board-certified anesthesiologist,” said Tony Rothert, the legal director of the state chapter.

“However, the American Board of Anesthesiology forbids its members from participating in capital punishment,” Rothert said. "If M3 is certified, it is only because the state is abetting him in hiding his identify from the board. The public should be skeptical of his testimony, but because his testimony is sealed, we do not even know what he said."

Flynt said he would rather see Franklin spend the rest of his life in prison.

“In all the years since the shooting, I have never come face-to-face with Franklin. I would love an hour in a room with him and a pair of wire-cutters and pliers, so I could inflict the same damage on him that he inflicted on me,” Flynt wrote. “But, I do not want to kill him, nor do I want to see him die.”

Franklin claimed he shot Flynt in 1978 because he was upset at interracial photo spreads in Hustler.