A Missouri Republican is proposing legislation intended to speed executions of those who kidnapped their murder victims.
The legislation would limit extensions for appeals, and the Missouri Supreme Court would need to hear arguments in a case within six months of submission of the last written argument. The high court would have another six months to issue its decision.
The measure also would require the court to issue a warrant to carry out the execution no more than 10 days after the defendant's state and federal appeals have ended.
The Missouri Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by a Guatemalan woman seeking to overturn the adoption of her biological child by a Carthage couple.
Encarnacion Romero sought to challenge a Missouri Court of Appeals decision terminating her parental rights to the child who was adopted by Seth and Melinda Moser. The Mosers have raised the child, who is now 7, since he was 1 year old. Legal battles have gone on since 2008.
A proposal to circumvent thousands of potential student transfers in the Kansas City area will be considered by the state legislature next year.
If passed, the proposal would allow local school districts to set class sizes and student-to-teacher ratios, and once reached, those districts could not be forced to accept transfer students from unaccredited school districts. The bill has been pre-filed by Democratic Senator Paul LeVota of Independence.
The attorney for convicted killer Joseph Paul Franklin has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to halt Franklin's execution, citing concerns about the state's plan to use a drug obtained from a compounding pharmacy.
Attorney Jennifer Herndon, in a document filed Tuesday, wrote that the use of pentobarbital from a compounding pharmacy puts Franklin at risk for a painful execution.
Franklin is scheduled to die by injection at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 20 at the prison in Bonne Terre, Mo., for the sniper killing of 42-year-old Gerald Gordon outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977.
Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 8:54 am
Updated at 10:05 a.m. Wednesday to correct Judge Teitelman's first name.
Updated with comments from the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri.
The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a gay man whose longtime partner, a state trooper who was killed in the line of duty, is not eligible for the trooper's survivor benefits because the two were never married.
The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case involving the state’s long-ailing Second Injury Fund. The case centers on the children of a deceased worker and whether they should receive money from the fund for the rest of their lives.
David Spradling was injured on the job in 1998 and died from unrelated circumstances in 2005. He had filed a Second Injury Fund claim, which his three children pursued after his death, and in 2011 were awarded disability payments from the Fund for life.
The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled for Gov. Jay Nixon in a budget battle with State Auditor Tom Schweich.
The court ruled Tuesday that Schweich lacked legal standing at the time to challenge about $170 million of spending cuts announced by Nixon in June 2011. The court said the challenge amounted to a pre-audit of state spending, which it said the auditor cannot do.
Schweich said the ruling is merely technical and he will consider suing again after doing a new audit of the governor's office.
Nixon said the ruling affirms his authority to balance the budget.
Missouri's judiciary is making plans to do more business electronically.
Chief Justice Mary Russell says the state court system will be expanding the availability of electronic filing for attorneys and the ability of the public to view those documents.
Electronic filing already is used in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the trial courts in 15 counties and the city of St. Louis. Russell says 12 more counties will start using electronic document filing later this year, and 30 others should join next year.
The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a $1.5 million punitive damages judgment for a Kansas City area family in a long-running lawsuit against a tobacco company.
The court's ruling Tuesday affirmed the 2009 judgment against Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. for the family of Barbara Smith. The Independence woman was a longtime smoker and died of a heart attack in 2000.
The Missouri Supreme Court's decision to move ahead with two executions this year is being questioned by some death penalty observers and opponents.
The state High Court on Wednesday set execution dates for condemned killers Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin. Missouri plans to become the first-ever state to use the anesthetic propofol for lethal injection. Propofol was used in the death of pop star Michael Jackson.
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 a lawsuit filed by the Humane Society of the United States and two other animal shelters was moot. The court noted the suit challenged the procedure by which a 2010 licensing law was passed, but that lawmakers had changed the law again in 2011.
Two troubled St. Louis-area school districts could pay a combined $23 million to cover tuition and transportation costs for students opting to attend accredited districts.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that nearly 1,700 students in the Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts have applied to transfer. That follows a recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling requiring unaccredited districts to pick up those costs for students who want to attend better schools.
The home districts must cover the tuition costs, and must pay for transportation to at least one school district.
Judge Mary Russell is set to become Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court next week.
The Hannibal native has sat on the state's highest court since 2004, and previously served on the Appeals court for Missouri's Eastern District. Russell lists the expansion of specialty courts as one of her top priorities for her two-year term.
Missouri lawmakers are trying again to re-impose local taxes on vehicles bought from out-of-state dealers or through person-to-person sales.
The state Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that local sales taxes cannot be charged on vehicles purchased outside Missouri or in private transactions. Instead, the high court said a local "use tax" could be charged if approved by local voters.
Lawmakers have passed two measures during the past two years that have sought to reverse the court ruling. Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed both, including the most recent one last month.
Missouri lawmakers have sent legislation to Gov. Jay Nixon that would levy local sales taxes on vehicles purchased in other states with voters’ approval. The Governor vetoed a similar bill last year because it did not give local voters a say in whether they wanted such a tax.
Voters in more than a dozen Missouri counties have approved local taxes that can be applied to out-of-state purchases.
Figures from the Missouri Association of Counties show use taxes passed in 13 of 18 counties where it appeared on Tuesday's ballots. In November, use tax proposals were defeated in six of eight counties.
Results from Tuesday for cities seeking use taxes were mixed.