ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has affirmed the conviction of a southeast Missouri man who was sentenced to death for the ambush killing of a state trooper in 2005.
Lance Shockley of the southeast Missouri town of Van Buren was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham Jr., who was shot in the back of the head just as he had returned home from work. Graham had been investigating Shockley for a fatal traffic accident.
Shockley has been on death row since 2009. His appeal cited a litany of alleged procedural errors at trial, claimed a juror was tainted and said the sentence didn't fit the crime. The Supreme Court disagreed in a unanimous ruling.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to a law that raised the state's licensing fees on animal shelters.
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the lawsuit by the Humane Society of the United States and two animal shelters was moot. The court noted that the suit challenged the procedure by which a 2010 licensing law was passed, but that lawmakers had changed the law again in 2011.
The 2010 law made animal shelters subject to the licensing fees already charged to dog breeders. The 2011 law raised Missouri's maximum licensing fee from $500 to $2,500 for commercial breeders, kennels and animal shelters.
A recent study shows that people are more sympathetic to an abused animal than an abused person.
The study was released by LiveScience. The researchers presented subjects with news articles featuring an abused adult, infant, puppy, or adult dog. Puppies, adult dogs, and infants were all viewed as defenseless by participants.