On March 6th, 1978, a shooting occurred in front of a courthouse. It left one man paralyzed for life.

That man is Larry Flynt, the founder of Hustler magazine. During the 1970s, Flynt was fighting against petty obscenity charges that would come to a head in the landmark Supreme Court ruling that, in short, says that parody is covered by free speech, and a public figure cannot sue over it on the grounds of emotional distress.

Given the context, it is evident that Flynt was courting controversy. However, his shooter, Joseph Paul Franklin, confessed that an interracial pornographic photo was the motivation for the attempted assassination.

Joseph Paul Franklin is said to have killed more than 15 people. He was a prolific American serial killer. A white supremacist, Franklin had set out to “cleanse the world” of minorities. He was a disturbed man, dangerous, a racist, and violent. He was sentenced to death on February 27, 1997.

Despite all of this, despite what Franklin personally did to him, Flynt vehemently opposed the execution. Flynt is against the death penalty, saying that it makes no sense as a deterrent to crime, and is more about sating the publics need for seeing the bad guy die, not because they want to see justice done.

Franklin was executed on November 20, 2013, via lethal injection.

The death penalty is a controversial subject. Flynt is no stranger to standing up in the face of controversy. Know more.