Joseph Paul Franklin was 'full of hatred,' 'evil' in 1980, attorney says

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  • Ralph Echols Scottsdale, AZ
    Nov. 22, 2013 12:41 a.m.

    The late Robert Van Sciver did represent Joseph Paul Franklin in his first trial (Federal) in Utah.
    Mr. Brass represented JPF during his state trial.
    The Utah trials were the only ones in which Franklin was prosecuted without a confession.
    In his other cases there was not enough evidence to prosecute him without a confession.
    In 1993 he did confess to a killing in Missouri which ultimately did result in a death sentence against
    him in 1997. Therefore he was under a death sentence for some 16 years and 8 months, not 33 years.
    I was in contact with Franklin since 2000, working on a book, which for various reasons is still a
    work in progress (soon to be completed.) I can tell you he had changed a lot over the years and that
    most of the hatred Mr. Brass encountered while dealing with him was long out of his system by the
    time he was executed. Many times he asked me to apologize to "everyone" for what he had done. I
    believe he was sincere. Take it for what it's worth.
    A sad ending to a sad story.

  • CA. reader Rocklin, CA
    Nov. 20, 2013 10:55 p.m.

    I heard today that there were none of the usual anti-death penalty protestors outside the prison where he was executed. I guess it is okay to execute an obvious racist who based his crimes totally on race.

    However, why did he live 33 years longer than anyone he murdered? I'm sorry but the death penalty is justified. It simply needs to be implemented much more quickly. These people just laugh at the rest of us when they are sentenced to death.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 20, 2013 10:53 p.m.

    Robert Van Sciver was the lead attorney on the franklin cases.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 20, 2013 7:31 p.m.

    "Joseph Paul Franklin was 'full of hatred,' 'evil' in 1980, attorney says"

    Yeah, I'd say all those senseless murders makes this observation pretty obvious.

  • md Cache, UT
    Nov. 20, 2013 6:43 p.m.

    No. He needed to be executed 32 years ago. 33 years of expense to house him is ridiculous. 33 years of legal expenses for prosecution and defense is ridiculous. I know this is how you make your living. However, I think the legal system benefits the criminals and not the victims.

  • Samwise Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 20, 2013 4:36 p.m.

    I am in favor of the death penalty in certain cases, this being one of them. But it needs to be done more quickly. There is no need for it to take 33 years.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Nov. 20, 2013 4:33 p.m.

    Born in Bountiful

    While I believe death penalty should only be used very rarely, I still believe very strongly in it. What is the purpose of housing a human soul behind bars for the rest of his life? His life and soul are evil, he cannot be repaired, rehabilitated, or redeemed. Some people are so evil that the only way to truly get justice is for them to pay the same price as their victims. Every trace of people this evil should be erased, as if they never existed. They should have no grave, and no headstone. If somebody is that evil they have no business living their life until they get old. They have no business having 3 square meals a day, watching tv, exercising, or doing anything else they prevented their victims from doing.

    Just my opinion.

  • Born in Bountiful Provo, Utah
    Nov. 20, 2013 4:20 p.m.

    As an attorney who defends death penalty cases, I want to say thank you to Mr. Brass for his work on the case of a very difficult, likely evil and mentally ill man. Thanks to the writer of the article for the keeping the focus on the individual and not the a critique of the attorney. Some day we will do away with the death penalty in the United States. I remember this case. I had just entered law school. Thirty-three years later we put the man to death. The man was where he belonged to be, in prison. We didn't need to kill him all these years later just to prove it could be done, or even needed to be done. We are collectively better than executions make us appear.