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…

Iran: 22 Prisoners Executed in Ghezelhesar Prison

Iran Human Rights, May 26, 2015: Reports by several independent sources indicate that all of the 22 prisoners in Ghezelhesar prison who were transferred to solitary confinement on Saturday and Sunday, have been hanged. The executions reportedly took place on Monday morning May 25. IHR cannot rule out that some of the prisoners might have been executed the day before, on Sunday May 24.

These 22 prisoners were transferred to the prison’s quarantine following a gathering of the death row prisoners of Unit 2 of Ghezelhesar prison on Friday May 22. The prisoners, who carried the Muslim holy book and handwritten placards, called for the Iranian Supreme leader Ali Khamenei to reduce their death sentences to life in prison (photos). The gathering was reportedly peaceful. Nevertheless, after the gathering, some of the prisoners were threatened by the prison officials that they would all be executed. Some of them were executed yesterday.

Two other group executions took place in the same prison earlier in May. These executions were carried out on May 6 and May 21; each time 11 prisoners were hanged. Some of the prisoners who were executed then had taken part in a prison riot last year.

Unit 2 of Ghezelhesar prison is where more than 2000 death row prisoners are being held. Most of these prisoners are sentenced to death for drug-related charges.

None of the Ghezelhesar executions have been announced by the official Iranian sources, but IHR has published names and photos of some of them.

IHR strongly condemns the mass executions at Ghezelhesar prison. Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of IHR, said, “Most of these prisoners are subjected to unfair trials and their death sentences have been issued based on forced confessions made under torture We call on the United Nations and the international community to take urgent actions to stop these mass executions”. Amiry-Moghaddam added, “United Nations’ Office for Drug and Crimes (UNODC), which cooperates with the Iranian authorities in the fight against drugs, and countries funding this fight against drugs must take their share of responsibility for these unlawful and arbitrary executions. The international community, and in particular UNODC and its funding countries, must intervene before it is too late”.

Some of the 22 prisoners executed are identified as: Abbas Heydari, Abbas Ameri, karimbakhsh Bameri, Haj Ahmad Ebrahimi, Asghar Kooshki, Ahmad Rabiei, Ahmad Rabdoost and Seyed Mohamad Mirhosseini. IHR is investigating identities of the remaining prisoners.

In addition, the following names were published by the “Human Rights Activists News Agency” (HRANA): Nader Hajizadeh, Jahangir Shahozahi, Mehran Baluchzahi, Mehrshad Soleimani, Reza Daeizadeh and Ehsan Saghafi.

Since the beginning of 2015, at least 400 prisoners have been executed in Iran.

Source: Iran Human Rights, May 26, 2015

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