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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…

Final Sukumaran, Chan appeal thrown out but lawyers to fight on to seek clarity

Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran in Kerobokan's painting workshop
Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran in Kerobokan's painting workshop
INDONESIA’S Constitutional Court has dismissed a legal challenge bought by executed Bali Nine duo Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan because the pair is no longer alive.

Lawyers for Sukumaran and Chan had lodged a case for judicial review with the Constitutional Court, seeking to challenge the President’s decision to deny their clemency applications without giving any reasons for doing so.

The case was lodged well before they died but the men were executed while waiting for the hearing to take place after Indonesia refused to acknowledge the pair’s action, in the country’s highest court, as being legitimate.

Convenient closure

The men’s Australian lawyer, Julian McMahon, said the application had been terminated by virtue of the civil code.

“This result is of course convenient for the President and the Attorney General,” Mr McMahon said.

“I assume the result was a matter of law forced on the Constitutional Court by the executions. If the jurisprudence of that court had been followed my clients would be alive today. It is the most impressive court in the country,” Mr McMahon said.

“But for political gain my clients were wrongly executed by the State and justice is easily put aside when the State kills people with important cases to argue.”

Fight to go on

Mr McMahon expressed a hope that the NGOs and human rights groups, which had joined the court action, will now pursue the case.

So too did the men’s Indonesian lawyer, Todung Mulya Lubis, who said the law on clemency needed to be clear, fair and just.

“We are facing another execution very soon. I think, for the interests of everyone, we need a clear and fair and just law on clemency,” Mr Lubis said.

The Kontras co-ordinator Haris Azhar said last night the groups will pursue the case.

“There is still a threat of a third batch of executions being carried out. It was dreadful that the State made a decision on clemency on a piece of paper without any obvious reasons and ignoring the petitioner’s argument as well as the argument of humanity,” Mr Azhar said.

Clemency accountability

In the initial case it was argued that the President, Joko Widodo, gave a blanket refusal to grant clemency to any drug trafficker, regardless of the merits of their individual cases and failed to consider the extraordinary rehabilitation of the two Australians.

The case was lodged earlier this year and despite being granted a May 12 hearing date, Sukumaran, Chan and six others were shot dead by firing squad on April 29, before the case was heard or ventilated.


Source: Herald Sun, May 21, 2015 (local time)

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