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…

Indonesia: Philippines working to save Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso from firing squad

Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso
The Philippine government is exhausting all efforts to save a Filipina from execution in Indonesia over a drug smuggling conviction, an official said Saturday.

Abigail Valte, deputy presidential spokeswoman, told state-run dzRB radio Saturday, "the government is doing everything within the legal framework of Indonesia to be able to push for her case."

Referring to an earlier pledge by Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, who recently visited Veloso in prison, Valte said, "the Philippines will continue to push other legal avenues."

Veloso, a single mother of 2 who sought work in Malaysia as a maid, was arrested while smuggling 2.6 kilograms of heroin at Yogyakarta airport, Java island, in April 2010.

Her family has insisted that the drugs seized from Veloso's luggage were secretly placed there by a relative.

Her earlier plea for clemency was rejected by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who has adopted a tough stance on drug traffickers while the country faces a "drug emergency."

In a statement Saturday, del Rosario said a 2nd appeal for judicial review is being considered, expressing his confidence that executions would not occur within the next 2 weeks.

Indonesian authorities have been preparing to move Veloso to the Nusa Kambangan prison island, where 9 other drugs convicts -- including 8 foreigners -- have already been transferred awaiting execution by firing squad.

Indonesia's attorney-general office has said that the executions will be delayed as the inmates' lawyers continue exploring available legal avenues.

The death penalty was resumed in 2013 after a 5-year gap, according to Amnesty International. Earlier this year, 6 drug offenders -- including 5 foreigners -- were executed despite diplomatic pleas.

In February, Indonesia and the Philippines agreed to strengthen collaboration in exchanging information on intelligence materials, methods of drug trafficking and their possible routes, and new forms of illegal drugs.

Source: aa.com.tr, March 27, 2015

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