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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…

Utah to allow firing squads for executions

(CNN) Utah's governor signed a bill Monday that brings back firing squads as a potential way to execute some death row prisoners.

Lethal injection remains the primary method for carrying out executions in the state, Gov. Gary R. Herbert said in a statement. A firing squad would only be used in the event the necessary drugs cannot be obtained.

"Those who voiced opposition to this bill are primarily arguing against capital punishment in general and that decision has already been made in our state," said Marty Carpenter, a spokesman for Herbert.

"We regret anyone ever commits the heinous crime of aggravated murder to merit the death penalty and we prefer to use our primary method of lethal injection when such a sentence is issued. However, when a jury makes the decision and a judge signs a death warrant, enforcing that lawful decision is the obligation of the executive branch," he said.

Utah banned death by firing squad in 2004, though inmates who chose that option before the law changed still ended up being shot to death.

The last execution by firing squad was in 2010, and it was also the most recent execution in Utah.

A Utah firing squad also executed Gary Gilmore in 1977, the first death by capital punishment after the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty the prior year.

Source: CNN, March 23, 2015

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