Texas Should Not Have Executed Robert Pruett

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…

UAE: Mule’s death penalty commuted to jail term

The Abu Dhabi court of appeal has commuted the death sentence that was handed down to an Asian man, for smuggling, possessing and trafficking drugs, to a 10-year jail term.

The court also fined him Dh50,000 along with deportation after serving his jail term. According to court records, the suspect was arrested from the Abu Dhabi International Airport with 96 capsules containing 616 grams of heroin, hidden in his rectum.

The suspect looked exhausted and fatigued, which raised the suspicion of police officers at the airport. He was examined, and an odd object was found in his abdomen. He was taken to a hospital, where the capsules were taken out, and on examining the contents of the capsules, it turned out that they contained heroin.

The suspect confessed to the attempt of smuggling, but claimed that he did not know what was the substance he was smuggling. He said that he carried out the operation after an agreement with a person in his home country to give the quantity to an unknown person in the UAE.

The alleged mule tried to defend himself during the trial arguing that there was no evidence for proving the allegation of being caught red-handed. The forensic medicine report and the analysis of the suspect’s samples of his urines did not prove that he was consuming drugs, the suspect told the court.

His defence was not considered by the Court of First Instance, that sentenced him to death, but the court of appeal commuted the verdict to 10 years imprisonment, along with a Dh50,000 fine, and ordered his deportation after completing his jail term.

Source: Khaleej Times, January 3, 2013

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