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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…

Yemen: Minor put to death for murder

Public execution in Yemen
Sanaa, July 6, 2009
March 9, 2013: Mohammed Haza'a was put to death by the Yemeni government despite legitimate questions as to whether he was under the age of 18 when he committed an alleged murder.

In 1999, Mohammed shot an intruder at his home in the central Yemeni city of Tiaz.

The man later died of his wounds. Various judges, including the one who made the initial ruling, determined that the killing was self-defense and that Mohammed was underage at the time of the crime. Ignoring these concerns, an appeals court eventually sentenced him to death.

Mohammed's execution was denounced by the European Union and comes on the heels of a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report condemning the Yemeni government's use of the juvenile death penalty. Released last week, the report makes clear that international law, to which Yemen is a signatory, "prohibits, without exception, the execution of individuals for crimes committed before they turn 18."

Source: theatlantic.com, March 12, 2013

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