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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 to decide on Bali Nine execution appeal on April 6

Andrew Chan (left) and Myuran Sukumaran (right)
(Reuters) - An Indonesian court hearing the appeals of two Australian death row convicts will announce a verdict on April 6, one of the judges determining the case said on Wednesday.

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are among a group of 10 prisoners, mostly foreigners, facing imminent execution for drug offenses after President Joko Widodo rejected their pleas for clemency.

"Both sides have been given ample opportunity to present evidence and testimony," Ujang Abdullah, one of a panel of three judges, told the court. "The judges will decide on the case after studying the evidence submitted.

The court was adjourned until Monday, when the judges would read their verdicts in both cases, he said.

The Australian government has repeatedly asked Indonesia to spare the lives of Sukumaran and Chan. Widodo has refused to budge, ramping up diplomatic tensions between the neighbors.

Lawyers for the two Australians have been trying to convince the court since February that it has the jurisdiction to hear their appeal against the president's rejection of a plea for clemency for the pair.

Judges rejected that argument last month.

"We will respect the judges who are now considering everything before ruling on the case," Leonard Arfan, a lawyer representing the two Australians, told reporters. "We respect the ongoing process and we're just waiting for the decision."

Sukumaran and Chan were arrested in 2005 as the ringleaders in a plot by a group, which came to be known as the Bali Nine, to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia.

At least four other death row inmates have appealed against their sentences.

Indonesia's attorney general has said all 10 prisoners would face the firing squad together but has yet to set a date for their executions.

The group awaiting execution includes citizens of Brazil, France, Ghana, Nigeria, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Source: Reuters, April 1, 2015

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