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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…

Indonesian court rejects appeal of Filipina on death row

Mary Jane Veloso
Mary Jane Veloso
In her application for judicial review, Mary Jane Veloso's lawyers argue that she was not provided with a capable translator during her first trial

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia's Supreme Court has rejected an application by a Filipina on death row for a judicial review of her case, taking her a step closer to being executed along with several other foreign drug convicts.

"We appreciate the Supreme Court for its decision to reject the judicial review of Mary Jane," Tony Spontana, the spokesperson of the Attorney General's Office, told Rappler in a text message.

"This is in line with our expectation and understanding because her clemency request has already been rejected. She should not have any more legal remedies."

As well as the Filipina, Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, two high-profile Australian inmates and convicts from France, Brazil, Ghana and Nigeria are set to face the firing squad after they recently had requests for presidential clemency rejected.

In her application for a judicial review, Veloso's lawyers had reportedly argued that she was not provided with a capable translator during her first trial.

But the Supreme Court's website said that judges on Wednesday, March 25, rejected Veloso's application for a review of her sentence. It did not provide details about the ruling and a court spokesman could not immediately be contacted for comment.

Veloso was caught at Yogyakarta airport, on the main island of Java, carrying 2.6 kilograms (5.73 pounds) of heroin on a flight from Malaysia.

Jakarta plans to execute all 10 of the convicts – nine foreigners and one Indonesian – at the same time, but has said it will wait for any outstanding legal appeals to conclude.

Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, leaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" drug-smuggling gang, as well as Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, currently have appeals that are working their way through the courts.

Chan and Sukumaran have lost two previous attempts to get judicial reviews of their cases, but their legal teams have lodged a further, rare appeal.

Indonesia has some of the toughest anti-drugs laws in the world, and President Joko Widodo has vowed there will be no clemency for traffickers on death row, as the country is facing an "emergency" due to rising narcotics use.

Jakarta put to death six drug convicts, including five foreigners, in January, sparking a diplomatic storm.

Source: Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com, March 26, 2015

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