The family of a Jefferson County couple murdered in 1996 is expressing disappointment with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the death sentence imposed on the killer. Carman Deck murdered James and Zelma Long at their home near De Soto. Deck was convicted and was shackled during the sentencing phase. Deck’s lawyers argued the shackling unduly influenced the jury, and the High Court agrees. Karen Long, the daughter-in-law of the murdered couple, attended the Supreme Court hearing. She hoped the recent Atlanta case in which a suspect took an officer’s gun and went on a shooting spree would influence the outcome of the Deck case. But that was not to be. Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon this will mean another trial and more tough times for the victims’ family. The conviction stands, but a decision will have to be made whether to hold another penalty phase trial.

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US Supreme Court Ruling