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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…

Indonesia's Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Ghanaian Drug Convict on Death Row

Martin Anderson, from Ghana, one of several convicts
slated for execution in Indonesia.
Jakarta. Indonesia’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a Ghanaian on death row, an official said on Wednesday, one of several foreign drug convicts expected to face the firing squad soon.

Martin Anderson’s request for a judicial review was rejected on Tuesday, the same day the court dismissed an appeal by Serge Atlaoui, a Frenchman on death row, said a spokesman for the attorney-general’s office.

Death row convicts can pursue appeals in other courts — and several in the group facing execution are doing so — but they are seen as having little chance of success, and authorities say such efforts simply amount to condemned prisoners seeking to buy time.

“I give two thumbs up to the Supreme Court’s decision,” said spokesman Tony Spontana, referring to the rejection of Atlaoui’s and Anderson’s appeals.

Spontana said he hoped they would not try any other “maneuvers” to avoid their impending execution.

There is now only one convict, an Indonesian, in the group of drug offenders who still has an appeal outstanding at the Supreme Court, said Spontana, adding he hoped the legal bid would be rejected this week.

He said authorities would wait until a gathering of Asian and African leaders in Jakarta finishes on Friday before setting a date for the executions.

Jakarta originally said the group of 10, including nine foreigners, would be put to death by firing squad at the same time in February, but following an international outcry it was agreed to let outstanding legal appeals run their course.

The group includes two high-profile Australian inmates and nationals from the Philippines, Brazil and Nigeria. All the convicts recently lost appeals for presidential clemency, typically the final chance to avoid the firing squad.

If executed, Atlaoui would be the first French citizen to be put to death anywhere in the world for almost 40 years.

Foreign countries have been heaping pressure on Jakarta to change course on the executions but President Joko Widodo, who took office in October, has been a vocal supporter of the death penalty.

Source: Agence France-Presse, April 22, 2015

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