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Porn kingpin Larry Flynt loses appeal over Missouri execution secrecy

Tony Rizzo, The Kansas City Star on

Published in News & Features

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled against porn publisher Larry Flynt and his fight to gain access to information about how Missouri executes its prisoners.

Flynt sought to compel state officials to make public the medical qualifications of some members of the team used by the Missouri Department of Corrections for capital punishment.

But in 2016 a federal judge ruled that the state had a compelling interest in keeping that information confidential. The judge found that the rights of Flynt and the public to have access to the information was outweighed by the execution team members' rights to privacy, and the state's right to carry out executions.

On Tuesday, a panel of the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the judge's ruling.

Flynt is the longtime publisher of Hustler magazine, and his business also includes pornographic videos, brand licensing, real estate and a casino.

Flynt's interest in Missouri capital punishment issues began when the state was preparing to execute the man who had shot and paralyzed him in 1978.

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Joseph Paul Franklin was never prosecuted for shooting Flynt but confessed to committing the crime. He was executed in November 2013 for a murder he committed in the St. Louis area.

Flynt had wanted Franklin to serve life in prison.

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