A Missouri group against all forms of capital punishment held a vigil in Columbia Tuesday evening to protest the impending execution of white supremacist serial killer Joseph Franklin.
Members of Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, or MADP, said they were willing to look past Franklin's horrific crimes in search of what they consider a proper form of justice.
"He is still a human being," said member Elly Lang.
"Murdering Joseph Franklin or people who commit a horrible crime doesn't bring back the loved one, and oftentimes it diminishes us as a collective people," said member Jeff Stack.
Stack says that is why he and 12 others came to the Boone County Courthouse Tuesday, to show solidarity against what they see as an inhumane and unnecessary part of the criminal justice system. Lang said when she heard Franklin was given a stay of execution, she was elated.
"I'm pleased that a stay was granted, and I hope that stands," Lang said. "I think the appropriate consequence would be life in prison."
Aside from some members view that capital punishment is morally wrong, the group said they had other concerns about the death penalty:
- It is illegal for the state to reveal the identity of the doctor who supervises the execution.
- The state will not reveal the identity of the compounding pharmacy which makes the execution drugs.
- The use of pentobarbital in Franklin's execution would be the first time the drug would be used in Missouri. Critics say the drug needs to undergo more trials before it is ready to be used as an execution drug.
Member Jim Feiser said he thinks it's time for America to join other parts of the world and get rid of the death sentence altogether.
"There are a lot of civilized countries all over the planet that don't engage in killing people," Feiser said.
Members of MADP hope that somehow, developments in the Franklin case will lead to the abolition of the death penalty, once and for all.