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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…

Bali duo given final notice

Nusakambangan Island, where executions are carried out in Indonesia
Nusakambangan Island, where executions are carried out in Indonesia
Jakarta: Bali nine organisers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran may have just three days left to live after they were officially given 72 hours notification of their executions on Saturday.

However Attorney-General spokesman Tony Spontana said no date had been set and they may have longer.

He said under Indonesian law the earliest a prisoner can be executed once they receive official notification is in 72 hours time.

The Attorney-General's office has indicated it is waiting on Monday's Supreme Court decision on Indonesian marijuana trafficker Zainal Abidin before setting a date.

A French man on death row in Indonesia has won a temporary reprieve from the firing squad but any hope for the nine others has disappeared.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir told Fairfax Media the French Embassy was not among those summoned to discuss the imminent executions because Serge Atlaoui still had a legal case before the Administrative Court. [Mr. Atlaoui's wife, Sabine, confirmed at 5:00 am GMT this morning that her husband had not been transferred to an isolation cell. She also indicated that she hadn't received ANY official confirmation that he had been removed from the execution list. - DPN]

However the execution of the remaining nine drug felons, including Sukumaran and Chan, is likely to occur within days.

Australian, Brazilian, Philippine and Nigerian consul staff met in Cilacap - the town near death island - at 12pm Jakarta time on Saturday to be briefed on the grim logistics.

In yet another ominous portent, all of the felons except Atlaoui have been transferred to isolation cells in the high security Besi prison on Nusakambangan ahead of the executions.

The Indonesian man, Zainal Abidin's death already seems a fait accompli despite Monday's court ruling, with his family contacted by authorities on Friday to ask where and how they wanted his body buried.

"It really upsets the family. It's as if they already know the outcome, that it's going to get rejected," said Abidin's lawyer Ade Yuliawan.

The Attorney-General's Office has repeatedly said it would wait for all legal processes to be exhausted because it wanted to execute the 10 drug felons simultaneously.

Several prisoners besides Atlaoui have ongoing legal processes, including the Australians, Filipina maid Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, and Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, who is schizophrenic.

But the Indonesian government insists they have no remaining channels of appeal.

"We only sent notification to embassies whose nationals have exhausted their legal avenues," Mr Arrmanatha said.

Lawyers for Veloso on Friday lodged a request for a second judicial review on the grounds she was "primarily a human trafficking victim in the first place, and therefore, must be protected".


Filipina death row inmate Mary Jane Veloso's two young sons beg Indonesian president's son to help save their mother from the firing squad. A psychological time bomb for these kids. Another tragedy in the making.

Her Indonesia lawyer Ismail Muhammad, who visited Veloso on the island on Saturday with her two young sons and other family members, said they didn't yet know whether it would be accepted by the Supreme Court.

But the Foreign Ministry's Mr Arrmanatha said Indonesian law stated there could only be one judicial review.

Lawyers for the Australians are challenging the clemency laws in the Constitutional Court and the Judicial Commission is investigating allegations the judges who sentenced Chan and Sukumaran to death offered bribes for lighter sentences.

Serge Atlaoui and his wife
Serge Atlaoui and his wife
However, any ruling made on the country's clemency laws by the Constitutional Court would not be retrospective and the Attorney-General has made it clear the case would not prevent the executions from proceeding.

Atlaoui, a welder, was arrested near Jakarta in 2005 in a secret laboratory producing ecstasy.

He has always maintained he was innocent of drug charges and was simply installing equipment in what he thought was an acrylics factory.

His lawyers lodged an appeal in the Administrative Court on April 23 and are waiting for a date.

A spokeswoman said Atlaui's wife, Sabine, had not been informed that he had been taken off the list for this batch of executions.

A source close to his case said it would be a violation of the law if Atlaoui was executed before six others who were arrested at the acrylics factory at the same and had also been sentenced to death.

"According to the law, people who are sentenced to death in one case must be executed together," she said.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, Jewel Topsfield, April 25, 2015

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