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…

Vietnam: Brothers get death penalties for trafficking over 210 kg drugs

A court in the southern province of Binh Duong on Friday gave 2 brothers death penalties for trafficking over 210 kilograms of heroin in one of the province's biggest drug cases.

Le Dinh Kiem, 33, and his brother Le Van Hanh, 41, were both convicted of trafficking drugs - a charge that is punishable by death in Vietnam, even when just 100 grams of heroin is involved.

The board of judges also sentenced Kiem's wife, Dang Thi Thanh, 29, to 23 years in prison for assisting the business.

Ngo Thi My Van, 51, who bought drugs from the brothers, got a life sentence.

Meanwhile, Le Van Nhat, 20, a helper of Kiem's family, was jailed for 2 years for harboring criminals.

According to the indictment, in 2012 end, the brothers started buying drugs in the central province of Nghe An, where they came from, and distributed them in Binh Duong.

For every package of 350 grams of heroin they sold, they would earn VND7-8 million (US$320-340) in profits, prosecutors said, adding that each package was priced $9,000.

As of the time they were busted in August 2013, they had bought 600 packages and sold 570 of them.

The ring was taken down when police caught Van with 2 packages of heroin bought from the brothers on August 5.

Further investigation led police to arrest the others.

Prosecutors said when police raided the store, Nhat was about to flush the other 30 packages of heroin down a toilet as ordered by Kiem.

Vietnam is among countries with the toughest drug laws in the world. But last month the Ministry of Justice presented a draft amendment of the Penal Code, proposing abolishing death penalty for a number of crimes, including drug crimes, by reducing it to life sentence at most.

Source: Thanh Nien News, April 5, 2015

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