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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…

FIU grant will train, educate lawyers representing Florida's prisoners with death sentences

Florida International University's College of Law has received a grant to help defense lawyers handling capital cases.

Over the next 2 years, the $620,000 grant will allow FIU professors to offer consultations and train lawyers on how to properly represent someone facing the death penalty including jury selection, when to plea and how to preserve the record for appeal.

Florida is has one of the highest rates in the nation in both the number of people sentenced to death and the number of executions.

FIU law students will learn first-hand how to manage capital punish cases and work alongside lawyers on pleadings, motions and interviewing witnesses.

The grant is from the Themis Fund, which is working to abolish the death penalty.

Source: Associated Press, April 7, 2015

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