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…

Pakistan Military Court Sentences Six 'Hardcore Terrorists' to Death

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN— Pakistan's recently established military courts have sentenced what the army calls six “hardcore terrorists” to death for committing terrorist acts.

An army statement announced Thursday says the men were involved in “heinous offenses” - including manslaughter, suicide bombing and abduction for ransom. While announcing the first set of convictions, the army said a seventh man was sentenced to life imprisonment.

“The convicts have the right to file an appeal,” it added without explaining whether civilian or military courts would hear the appeals.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government set up the controversial military courts as part of stepped up counterterrorism measures in response to the militant attack against a school in Peshawar last December that left 134 children and 16 staff dead.

The government has set up nine military courts that have been provided legal protection through parliamentary legislation. Officials have confirmed more than 50 cases have been referred to the military courts.

Prime Minister Sharif also reinstated the death penalty within days after the school attack and 65 civilian prisoners on death row have since been hanged, while hundreds others are awaiting executions in the coming months.

Human rights groups are criticizing the executions and demand the government immediately halt them and re-impose the ban on capital punishment.

Source: VOA, April 2, 2015

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