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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…

Japan: New justice minister won't OK executions in foreseeable future

Gallows at Tokyo's Detention Center
TOKYO — Newly appointed Justice Minister Hideo Hiraoka, speaking at his first news conference on Friday night, said that he had no plans to approve any executions of death-row inmates in the foreseeable future.

No condemned convicts have been executed in Japan for more than a year. Currently, Japanese prisons have 120 inmates on death row — the highest figure in recent history. Since the last execution was carried out 13 months ago, 16 new death sentences have been handed down by courts. Of these, eight cases involved rulings in which citizen jurors took part.

Hiraoka said there was a growing movement worldwide to abolish the death penalty and said he wants to study both sides the issue more deeply. “The death penalty is always a last resort and I must be extremely cautious about making a decision to approve an execution. For the time being, I can’t see any executions going ahead.”

Source: Japan Today, Sept. 3, 2011

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