The Governor's Office today released the following statement from Gov. Jay Nixon regarding his decision on the petition for clemency from Joseph P. Franklin:
Earlier today, I received from my counsel a final briefing on the petition for clemency from Joseph P. Franklin, which has been reviewed in detail. After careful deliberation, I have denied this petition.
As Governor, this is a power and a process I do not take lightly. Each instance involves a very specific set of facts, which must be considered on its own.
Joseph P. Franklin was sentenced by a jury to receive the ultimate punishment for committing merciless acts of violence, fueled by hate. In October 1977, Franklin fired five shots at a group of worshipers leaving a synagogue in Richmond Heights, killing Gerald Gordon and wounding Steven Goldman and William Ash. This cowardly and calculated shooting was only one of many senseless acts of extreme violence that Franklin, motivated by racial and religious intolerance, committed against numerous victims across the country - from Tennessee and Ohio to Utah and Wisconsin.
As this case reaches its conclusion and the sentence is carried out, I ask that Missourians remember Gerald Gordon and keep his family, and the victims of Franklin's other crimes, in their thoughts and prayers.