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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…

Egypt sentences Mohamed Morsi to death

Mohamed Morsi
Mohamed Morsi
Verdict against former president sent to Grand Mufti for confirmation after he is convicted for 2011 mass prison break.

An Egypt court has sentenced former President Mohamed Morsi to death for a mass prison break in 2011.

The court ruled on Saturday that the sentencing of Morsi and 105 others will be referred to the Grand Mufti, the highest religious authority in Egypt, for confirmation.

Many of those sentenced were tried in absentia, including Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an influential Islamic scholar based in Qatar.

The court will pronounce its final decision on June 2.

Morsi, who was overthrown by the army in 2013 amid mass protests against his government, was spared the death sentence in the first of two trials that concluded on Thursday, in which the court advised death sentences for 16 defendants on espionage charges.

They had been charged with colluding with foreign powers, the Palestinian group Hamas and Iran to destabilise Egypt.

Responding to the latest developments, Abdullah al-Arian, assistant professor of History at Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service in Qatar, told Al Jazeera the death sentences handed down today would "come as no surprise to anyone who has been following developments in Egypt over the past two years".

"With these highly politicized trials that contravene all standards of justice, the judiciary is doing its part to cement a new political reality in Egypt, one that seeks to silence all dissent and restore the full strength of the authoritarian system that was in place for decades," al-Arian said.

Egyptian authories have banned Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood since his overthrow and arrested thousands of his supporters.

Last month, an Egypt court sentenced Morsi and 12 other defendants to 20 years in prison for ordering the arrest and torture of protesters in clashes outside the presidential palace in December 2012.

The court acquitted the former president of murder charges that could have seen him face the death penalty.

Source: Associated Press, May 16, 2015

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