The voice was strong and unwavering, carrying no hint that it soon would be snuffed out, just like Joseph Paul Franklin snuffed out 18 lives during his racist, murderous reign of terror.
From Missouri’s death row hours before he is scheduled to be executed, Franklin told The Cincinnati Enquirer in a telephone call Monday he regrets killing two Cincinnati teens in 1980 and that he’s not really worried about being executed.
“I ain’t tripping on it,” Franklin said of his execution set for 1:01 a.m. EDT Wednesday.
Franklin, 63, was convicted of murders in several states but only faced the death penalty in Missouri where he was convicted of killing a man in a St. Louis synagogue in a sniper shooting. He was honest about his punishment in Missouri.
“Yeah, I actually believe that I deserve (to be executed). I ain’t going to deny it,” Franklin said in a 39-minute call late Monday. “I’m hoping for mercy.”
He showed no mercy, though, to Darrell Lane, 14, and Dante Evans Brown, 13, as the cousins walked to a Cincinnati-area store in June 1980.
Franklin, in the midst of what he called his prolific month of race killings, lay in wait on a railroad trestle for anyone with black skin to walk past. When the boys did, Franklin shot each twice with a .44-caliber deer rifle, blasting holes in their chests.
“They just happened to walk by on the sidewalk to tell you the truth,” Franklin said of his Cincinnati victims. “I basically set up an ambush for whoever walked by … I had no idea how old they were.”