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…

Court has right to rule on Bali duo challenge says legal expert

Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran
Indonesia’s judiciary have the right to rule on the execution challenge by Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, according to a legal expert.

The lawyers fighting to save the lives of the Bali Nine ring leaders returned to court today to challenge the Indonesian president’s rejection of their pleas for mercy.

They presented an expert defence in an attempt to show that judges have the right to rule on the clemency issue, despite an earlier ruling to the contrary.

Sukumaran and Chan were sentenced to death in 2006 for trying to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia.

Their appeals for clemency, typically the final chance to avoid the firing squad, were recently rejected by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who has taken a hard line against traffickers.

The men, in their early 30s, were moved this month from jail on Bali to Nusakambangan prison island off Java, where Indonesian authorities plan to execute them along with several other foreign drug convicts.

In the latest attempt to save the men from the firing squad, their legal team has challenged Widodo’s decision to reject the clemency pleas, arguing that he failed to assess their rehabilitation or give reasons for his decision.

The Jakarta State Administrative Court dismissed the bid last month, saying it did not have the right to rule on the matter because granting clemency is the president’s prerogative. The Australians’ lawyers are now appealing that decision.

Today Otong Rosadi, a law lecturer presented as an expert witness, argued the judges did have the right to rule on the president’s decision after a constitutional amendment around 15 years ago, which states that public policies can be challenged in court.

“After that amendment, the president’s prerogative rights were no longer absolute,” he said.

Rosadi, from Ekasakti University on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, also said that “the right place to contest that presidential decision is the Administrative Court”.

But he added that there had been no previous court cases relating to the president’s decision to reject a clemency plea.

Source: The Australian, March 30, 2015

Bali Nine: law expert supports appeal for pair in Indonesian administrative court

Otong Rosadi’s call comes after court threw out a challenge against the rejection of clemency for death row pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

An expert witness has argued for the death row challenge of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran to be heard in an Indonesian administrative court.

The court last month threw out a challenge against the rejection of clemency for the Bali Nine pair, determining the decrees by president Joko Widodo were not within its jurisdiction.

The men sentenced for heroin smuggling in 2006 have no other legal avenues left and have resorted to the administrative court appeal to spare them from the firing squad.

Otong Rosadi of Ekasakti university on Monday gave his opinion in support of the challenge. The law expert said in his opinion, all “products of the law” can be reviewed, even clemency, which he argued was not purely a matter of presidential prerogative.

The constitutional rights of the president were still a product of the law, he said.

“The legal product is the presidential decree and a presidential decree rejecting or granting clemency, it’s a state administrative matter,” he told the court in Jakarta.

“The forum to challenge it is the state administrative court.”

Otong maintained this view under questioning from lawyers for the state and judges, who asked if other constitutional rights of the president could also therefore be challenged in the administrative court.

A lawyer for Chan and Sukumaran, Leonard Arpan, said he was confident Otong’s evidence was strong.

“I think the expert has delivered all the statements that were required,” he told reporters.

Both sides are due to give their conclusions on Wednesday, with a decision expected soon afterwards.

Click here to read the full article

Source: The Guardian, March 30, 2015

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