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…

Sister Helen Prejean: Lethal injection is ‘experimentation’ on death row inmates

Sister Helen Prejean
ATHENS—The country’s preferred method of executing prisoners relies on increasingly hard-to-find key drugs. To make up the shortfall, state executioners turn to compounding pharmacies to acquire new combinations of the lethal drugs.

In a talk at the Catholic Center at the University of Georgia, Congregation of St. Joseph Sister Helen Prejean called these drug cocktails for death row inmates “medical experimentation.”

“Now we are in a situation where states have to go try and find drugs and put them together,” she said. “It is medical experimentation.”

States are forced to come up with new drugs after the executive body of the European Union banned the sale of these drugs to the United States if they are used to execute prisoners, and some U.S. pharmacies stopped producing them.

“Now there’s national attention on this. How can you be letting these states experiment on killing people like this?” she asked.

States have had to go to compounding pharmaceutical companies to try and put together a lethal injection from one or more drugs. At the same time, information about the drugs being used, their expiration dates, or their sources is kept secret.

There is more transparency by veterinarian associations about euthanizing animals than “for the killing of human beings,” Sister Helen asserted.

States use a variety of protocols utilizing one, two or three drugs, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

In 2013, the Georgia Legislature passed a law making the source of drugs used for lethal injections a state secret. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Georgia uses a one-drug system, a lethal dose of pentobarbital, to execute inmates.

Georgia has stopped executions twice in four years over questions about the quality of the drugs, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution. It most recently happened in March when the state was prepared to execute Kelly Gissendaner. The drug to be used appeared cloudy, according to reports.

Sister Helen said there is a “moral crunch” for many Catholics to believe that a pro-life position calls them to be advocates both for the innocent unborn and the guilty inmate.

Source: The Georgia Bulletin, April 2, 2015

Report an error, an omission: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com

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