Larry Flynt speaks out against execution of the man who shot him

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The notorious and outspoken pornographer Larry Flynt has spoken out against the execution of the man who shot him and confined him to a wheelchair 35 years ago. Joseph Paul Franklin, who shot Flynt outside a Georgia court in 1978, has been scheduled for execution in November by a Missouri court.

Franklin, a bigot in every possible way, was a white supremacist who has been convicted of eight racially motivated murders and has either confessed to or been implicated in a further thirteen. The death sentence was handed down for the 1977 murder of Gerald Gordon outside a synagogue.

He shot Flynt in 1978 not through any moral objection to pornography but because the mogul had featured a black man and a white woman in his Hustler magazine. Flynt was left paralysed from the waist down after suffering spinal cord damage.

"I have every reason to be overjoyed with this decision, but I am not," Flynt wrote in the Hollywood Reporter.

"I would love an hour in a room with him... so I could inflict the same damage on him that he inflicted on me. But, I do not want to... see him die."

"As far as the severity of punishment is concerned, to me, a life spent in a 3-by-6-foot cell is far harsher than the quick release of a lethal injection,"

The publisher, who was played by Woody Harrelson in 1996 film The People vs Larry Flynt, also addressed the core concept of the death penalty

"I have had many years in this wheelchair to think about this very topic," he wrote.

"As I see it, the sole motivating factor behind the death penalty is vengeance, not justice, and I firmly believe that a government that forbids killing among its citizens should not be in the business of killing people itself."

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