White supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin was put to death early Wednesday.  It was the state's first execution in nearly three years.

Franklin, 63, targeted blacks and Jews in a cross-country killing spree from 1977 to 1980.  He was executed Wednesday at the state prison here for killing Gerald Gordon in a sniper shooting outside a synagogue in suburban St. Louis in 1977.

Franklin was convicted of seven other murders across the country and claimed responsibility for up to 20 overall.  The Missouri case was the only one that brought a death sentence. 

The execution was the first in Missouri using a single drug, pentobarbital.  Franklin's fate was sealed early Wednesday when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal appeals court decision overturning stays granted by two federal judges on Tuesday afternoon.