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Texas Should Not Have Executed Robert Pruett

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Update: Robert Pruett was executed by lethal injection on Thursday.
Robert Pruett is scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas Thursday. He has never had a chance to live outside a prison as an adult. Taking his life is a senseless wrong that shows how badly the justice system fails juveniles.
Mr. Pruett was 15 years old when he last saw the outside world, after being arrested as an accomplice to a murder committed by his own father. Now 38, having been convicted of a murder while incarcerated, he will be put to death. At a time when the Supreme Court has begun to recognize excessive punishments for juveniles as unjust, Mr. Pruett’s case shows how young lives can be destroyed by a justice system that refuses to give second chances.
Mr. Pruett’s father, Sam Pruett, spent much of Mr. Pruett’s early childhood in prison. Mr. Pruett and his three siblings were raised in various trailer parks by his mother, who he has said used drugs heavily and often struggled to feed the children. Wh…

Oklahoma City Bombing Victim's Father Says Executions are Not Part of the Healing Process



Bud Welch, father of Julie Welch who was killed in the Oklahoma City Bombing, recently appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show, just a few days before the 15th anniversary of the bombing in Oklahoma.

Welch, who is the president of Murder Victims' Familes for Human Rights, has been a long-time opponent of the death penalty and has said that executions are more often "staged political events" instead of a part of the healing process for victims.

When asked how he came to oppose the death pealty for Timothy McVeigh, Welch told Maddow, "I reached that point probably about a year after the bombing - close to a year. All my life, I had always opposed the death penalty. I just thought it was something that society should not be doing. And after Julie‘s death, I was so full of revenge and hate that I had to get retribution in some way. So I was for the death penalty probably for the first year. And after recognizing that killing Tim McVeigh was not part of my healing process, then I was able to move forward."

Read the full transcript of the interview here.

Sources: The Interview, The Rachel Maddow Show, April 16, 2010; The Death Penalty Information Center, April 20, 2010

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