Larry Flynt Allowed to Ask for Execution Records to be Unsealed
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ST. LOUIS – Today, United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Publisher Larry Flynt has the right to intervene in a case challenging Missouri’s execution protocol. Flynt seeks to challenge the sealing of judicial records.
In November 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri filed a motion on Flynt’s behalf. This was one of several efforts to gain information about the state’s execution protocol.
Flynt, who was paralyzed in 1978 by Joseph Franklin, had advocated that Franklin should be punished by spending the remainder of his life in prison, rather than be killed by the state and put out of his misery. Missouri executed Franklin Nov. 20, 2013. Missouri Press Association and several other media organizations filed friend of the court briefs in support of Flynt.
Court documents for Larry Flynt v. Lombardi can be found on the ACLU of Missouri website.
“The public needs to know what is being done in its name and these judicial records will answer a lot of questions that we and members of the media have been asking,” explains Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri.
“The ACLU plays a unique role by working through the courts to ensure the public has access to the information we need to be an effective check on government power,” said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri. “A state’s execution protocol should never be hidden from the public by sealing court documents. When Missouri kills people in our name, the public must know if the manner is ethical, or cruel and unusual.”
The ACLU of Missouri is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that defends and expands the constitutional rights and civil liberties of all Missourians guaranteed under the United States and Missouri Constitutions, through its litigation, legislative and public education programs. It is an affiliate of the national ACLU.
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