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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…

Denmark indirectly supporting Iranian drug executions

Public execution in Iran
By supporting a UN anti-drug programme operating in Iran, Denmark may be helping Iranian authorities arrest and execute suspected drug users and smugglers.

Denmark voluntarily supports the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which supports countries around the world in tackling drug-related crime.

But Denmark’s approximate 35 million kroner donation to the programme may be contributing to the number of drug traffickers and users arrested and subsequently executed in Iran, according to Amnesty Danmark.

The wish to limit the drug trade is of course legitimate, but as the situation stands in Iran, the money could end up supporting arrests and ultimately executions,” Trine Christensen, the deputy general secretary at Amnesty Danmark, told Politiken newspaper. “If we continue to support the programme, it legitimises Iran’s use of the death penalty for drug-related crimes.”

As a result, Amnesty estimates that around 260,000 people were arrested in 2011 for drug-related offences. Of the 488 people executed by Iran in 2011, around three-quarters were for drug-related offences.

“We should not participate in a project where people are executed for committing a crime,” Enhedslisten's development spokesperson, Christian Juhl told Politiken newspaper. “We can’t close our eyes to how people are treated just because we want to combat drug smuggling. We end up compromising our principles.”


Source: The Copenhagen Post, March 25, 2013

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