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: 'New evidence' in death row Filipina case

Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso in court
Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso
Lawyers for a Filipina scheduled to be executed alongside two Australians are racing to file a new appeal, this time arguing she was a victim of human trafficking.

Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, 30, says she was tricked into travelling to Indonesia with 2.6kg of heroin in 2010 by a woman who promised her work as a domestic helper.

Her first bid for a Supreme Court judicial review, which pointed out the fact she had no qualified Tagalog translator at her trial, was rejected.

Indonesia has been waiting for this week's Asian African Conference to close before announcing an execution date for Veloso, Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, and seven others.

It has also been waiting for all 10 prisoners to exhaust their legal appeals, and all but one - Indonesian Zainal Abidin - has.

Lawyers for the Bali Nine pair have lodged a challenge in the constitutional court but the attorney-general says he won't recognise it.

Philippine lawyers and advocates have joined Veloso's Indonesian legal team, and will apply for another judicial review on Monday.

Lawyer Edre Olalia says documents for the appeal are being urgently translated.

They include a new interview from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency with Veloso.

Other prisoners have been denied judicial reviews because no new information was put forward, but Mr Olalia says he doesn't want to give false hope.

"The question of her being a victim of trafficking was never raised in the first application, so in that sense it's new," he told reporters.

"There are no guarantees.

"Even if we file a second judicial review and even if the new grounds are very solid and convincing, and even if the new angle of human trafficking, vis-a-vis drug trafficking is included ... we have to manage our expectations."

Mr Olalia was in Jakarta on Wednesday to pursue the case along with Veloso's father Cesar and sister Marites.

Other family members, including Veloso's sons, aged six and 12, will follow on Thursday if they get permission to visit their mother in her central Java jail.

Of the 10 prisoners slated for execution, she is the only one yet to be moved to Nusakambangan Island, where Chan and Sukumaran are in semi-isolation.

Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay met with his counterpart, Jusuf Kalla, and Indonesian Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly in Jakarta on Wednesday, where he was expected to make a plea for Veloso's life.

Source: AAP, SBS, April 23, 2015 (local time)

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