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…

Oklahoma executes Brian Darrell Davis

Brian Darrell Davis
A man convicted of raping and stabbing to death his live-in girlfriend's mother was executed on Tuesday, more than a week after the governor rejected a parole board recommendation to reduce his sentence to life in prison.

Brian Darrell Davis, 38, was put to death by lethal injection at a state prison. He is the second Oklahoma inmate executed in two weeks and the third in 2013. He was pronounced dead at 6:25 p.m.

Davis was convicted of stabbing Josephine "Jody" Sanford, 52, to death and raping her at the apartment he shared with her daughter, Stacey Sanford, and their child. He admitted killing her during a fight in November 2001, but said he had not intended to do so.

Davis gave several versions of the events, but each one included that he returned home from a club early that morning and discovered that his live-in girlfriend Stacey and their 3-year-old daughter were gone. They were staying at a hotel, prosecutors said.

Davis had called Stacey Sanford's mother twice looking for them, prompting Jody Sanford to go on her own search that took her to the apartment, court records showed. Davis said he and Jody Sanford had consensual sex, argued and fought, and he admitted to stabbing her.

Stacey Sanford found her mother dead when she returned in the morning. Authorities said she had six stab wounds, a broken jaw and marks on her neck. DNA tests determined that semen found in her body matched Davis'.

He left the apartment and drove away in Jody Sanford's van, getting into a single vehicle crash about nine miles away that ejected him from the vehicle. He was in the hospital being treated for serious injuries when police interviewed him.

Davis said Sanford had attacked him and cut him on the thumb and that he never intended to kill her. However, jurors found the killing to be especially heinous, atrocious or cruel and Davis was sentenced to death.

On June 13, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin denied Davis' request for clemency, rejecting a parole board recommendation that his sentence be commuted to life without parole.

Source: Reuters, June 25, 2013

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