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…

Decade Later, Still Seeking a Rare New York Execution

The government has spent more than a decade trying to put Ronell Wilson to death.

Enduring through setback after setback, the extraordinary efforts to make Mr. Wilson the first person executed in New York in a half-century have been a testament to both the brutality of the murders he has admitted to carrying out and the political commitment to winning a seemingly ideal capital case.

It was pursued first by state prosecutors on Staten Island, where Mr. Wilson shot two undercover detectives at point-blank range during a failed sting operation, until New York’s highest court ruled the state’s death penalty unconstitutional.

The cause was taken up by federal prosecutors, who defied expectations by persuading a jury to hand down a death sentence — only to have the decision overturned because the arguments for execution had been so vigorous they crossed the lines of propriety.

And now prosecutors are again in court explaining to jurors why they should vote to execute Mr. Wilson, who is already spending life in prison without the possibility of release for the murders.

Source: The New York Times, July 12, 2013

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