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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…

Texas executes Michael James Perry

HUNTSVILLE — Convicted killer Michael James Perry (left) has been executed for gunning down a nurse at her home north of Houston and stealing her red convertible nine years ago.

Perry, 28, mouthed to relatives and friends watching through a window that he loved them.

"I want to start off to everyone involved in this atrocity, they're all forgiven by me," he said in a brief statement from the death chamber gurney.

He lifted his head from the pillow and, his voice cracking, cried out: "Mom, I love you."

"I'm coming home, Dad. I'm coming home," he added. His father died last month.

He never acknowledged relatives of the nurse, Sandra Stotler, who looked through an adjacent window.

As the drugs took effect, a single tear ran down his right cheek, prompting quiet sobs from his mother and an aunt and friends.

He was pronounced dead at 6:17 p.m., the 14th prisoner executed this year in Texas, the nation's most active death penalty state.

His lethal injection came about 90 minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-day appeal. Perry's lawyers argued they had new evidence showing Perry was already in jail when Sandra Stotler, 50, was murdered in 2001 at her home near Conroe. They also contended a friend of Perry's killed Stotler.

Source: AP, July 1, 2010

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