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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…

Longest tenured Tennessee death row inmate dies of natural causes

Tennessee death chamber
Tennessee death chamber
NASHVILLE -- A Sullivan County man sentenced to death in 1978, making him the longest tenured Tennessee inmate on death row, died in the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville on Wednesday of natural causes, according to his former defense attorney Larry Dillow.

Donald Wayne Strouth, 55, was found guilty, along with Jeffrey Stuart Dicks, of murdering James Keegan, the owner of a used clothing store in downtown Kingsport.

Strouth was convicted and sentenced to death.

Subsequent appeals by Strouth were denied over the years, including by the Tennessee Supreme Court. 

The state recently set an execution date for him: March 15, 2016.

The date was set for 2016 to allow the courts time to deal with an ongoing lawsuit filed by 11 inmates. 

The lawsuit wants Tennessee to turn over details about their planned executions after a 2013 law sealed details of their execution so the inmates can make sure the executions are not cruel and unusual punishment.

But Strouth died from an apparent heart attack Wednesday, more than 30 years after receiving the death sentence.

Source: Time News, May 15, 2015

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