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…

Philippines To Appeal to Indonesia To Commute Death Penalty of Filipina Convict

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of the Philippines said it will continue to appeal to Indonesia to commute the death penalty it imposed on Filipina drug convict Mary Jane Veloso.

The DFA said it will not leave the case of Veloso behind just because the Indonesian government has postponed her execution, which would have been carried out on April 29.

DFA spokesman Charles Jose said authorities will even up its efforts to coordinate with their counterparts in Indonesia for the development of the case.

"We've employed diplomatic track since Veloso's conviction in 2011. In fact, we've been able to stay her execution for years," Jose said.

Jose said the DFA is working hand in hand with the Department of Justice (DoJ) and other government agencies in the Philippines to completely save Veloso from the death penalty.

At this point, however, the Philippines is obliged to prove the claims it made that resulted to the postponement of the Filipina drug convict's execution.

Philippine authorities claimed that Veloso was a victim of human trafficking.

As this developed, the DOJ has issued a subpoena for Veloso's recruiter, Maria Kristina Sergio, who surrendered to authorities.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the purpose of the subpoena is to get the testimony of Sergio, who allegedly was responsible why Veloso came to Indonesia, caught with drugs, and then sentenced to firing squad.

Sergio has not been considered as a suspect and no charges have been filed against her but the DOJ said it will be important for her to issue an affidavit to defend herself.

Veloso was arrested in Indonesia in April 2010 for allegedly smuggling 2.6 kilograms of heroin in a suitcase.

Throughout her trial, she maintained her innocence, claiming that she was duped into carrying the suitcase by her godsister, who convinced her to go to Indonesia after losing a job in Malaysia.

Source: Business News Asia, April 30, 2015

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