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…

Mentally ill Rodrigo Gularte, who did not realise he was to be shot until appearing before firing squad, is buried in home country

Angelita Muxfedlt, right, a cousin of Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, by his coffin in Jarkarta on 29 April 2015
Angelita Muxfedlt, right, a cousin of Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte,
by his coffin in Jarkarta on 29 April 2015
The Brazilian man executed in Indonesia last week is due to be buried in his home country, as his family launch a campaign to have him posthumously pardoned on the grounds of mental health problems.

Rodrigo Gularte, who was twice diagnosed with schizophrenia, only realised he was about to be shot minutes before he stood before the firing squad. According to the priest who administered his last rites, he was hearing voices in his empty cell and asked at the last “Am I being executed?…That’s not right.” He reportedly declared that he would be resurrected 10 days after his death.

His family and friends, who will attend a funeral mass in Curitiba on Sunday, told the Guardian the signs of mental instability were apparent from before Gularte’s adolescence.

Juliana Gularte said her cousin had been diagnosed firstly with cerebral dysrhythmia, which made him particularly impulsive, from the age of 10. Six years later, when he was sent to a rehabilitation centre as a result of drug and alcohol abuse, doctors discovered he had bipolar disorder.

“They wanted to put him on medication, but he refused. He never liked that,” she said.

He was twice been hospitalised for drug abuse and dropped out of three college courses.

Marcelo Penayo, a friend, said Gularte exhibited strong mood swings. “He would switch between moments of euphoria, going to the beach, going surfing, always inviting everyone to come along. Then he would sometimes become very introspective and sad, even when he was among friends and with his girlfriend,” he said.

His condition and his drug abuse reportedly worsened after his parents’ divorce, though his mother tried to help by buying him a restaurant. The family claim international drug smugglers took advantage of Gularte’s recklessness to persuade him to act as a mule while he was on a trip to Asia.

Click here to read the full article

Source: The Guardian, Jonathan Watts, May 3, 2015

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