Larry Flynt's Assailant Is Executed

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Joseph Paul Franklin, the shooter who attempted to assassinate Larry Flynt, was executed today.

The execution came after Flynt, who has used a wheelchair since the 1978 shooting, unsuccessfully pleaded for mercy for his assailant.

Flynt was vocal about saving Franklin from death, and in a column in the Hollywood Reporter last month, he challenged the methodology of execution and the lack of transparency.

Franklin, however, was executed for killing Gerald Gordon in a sniper attack on a St. Louis synagogue in 1977. He was convicted of seven other murders and claimed responsibility for up to 20 others in a cross-country racist killing spree from 1977 to 1980.

Franklin at his execution at a state prison in Bonne Terre, Mo., declined to make a final statement. He was administered five grams of pentobarbital and moments later stopped breathing.

In an interview this week, Franklin elaborated to CNN why he shot Flynt.

"I saw that interracial couple he had, photographed there, having sex," he told CNN. "It just made me sick. I think whites marry with whites, blacks with blacks, Indians with Indians. Orientals with orientals. I threw the magazine down and thought, I'm gonna kill that guy."

Franklin was referring to the December 1975 issue of Hustler that featured several photos of a black man with a white woman.