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FROM THE GUARDIAN: Larry Flynt urges clemency for Joseph Paul Franklin, the killer who shot him

Pornographer and civil liberties advocate calls for neo-Nazi to be spared, saying death penalty is ‘not justice but vengeance’

Larry Flynt
Larry Flynt: ‘This nation is bent on executing people and it’s hard to get
people who feel that way to be rational.’ Photograph: Dan Tuffs/Getty Images

By the brutal norms of American capital punishment, few recipients of a lethal injection will trouble consciences less deeply than Joseph Paul Franklin.

In a spree of racially motivated violence across the US in the late 1970s, the Ku Klux Klan-affiliated gunman murdered as many as 20 people on a mission to “cleanse the world” of those he considered to be of inferior status.

But if Franklin is strapped down to receive the fatal shot of drugs on 20 November, in conformity with the Missouri Department of Corrections’ schedule, at least one of his surviving targets won’t be raising a glass in celebration.

“If it was a deterrent, I’d support the death penalty, but it’s not,” Larry Flynt, the notorious pornographer and civil liberties campaigner who was paralysed by a bullet from Franklin’s hunting rifle, told the Observer last week.

Flynt first expressed his views on the death penalty and the sentence of his attacker in the movie-industry trade journal Hollywood Reporter last week.

(To read full article, click here.)

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