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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…

The Australian Catholic University defends scholarships for Bali Nine duo

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran: "victims of the exercise of
naked power by the Indonesian executive" [DPN concurs]
The Australian Catholic University has defended creating two scholarships commemorating executed drug runners Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Vice-chancellor Greg Craven has been surprised at the outpouring of hatred he's received since the university announced the "mercy scholarships", which are not named after the Bali Nine duo.

An Australian university has defended creating two scholarships in memory of the Bali Nine pair.

"These are not scholarships in memory of men who once were drug runners," he wrote in The Australian on Monday.

"They commemorate men who died reformed, redeemed, courageously and uncompromisingly human."

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the creation of the scholarships was an odd thing for a university to do.

However, Professor Craven said it was "pitilessly stupid" to believe someone who committed a crime was never worthy of recognition for any subsequent virtuous acts.

Other critics asked how the university could commemorate men executed in accordance with Indonesian law.

Professor Craven's defence: universities dare to tell the truth.

"The actions leading to these men's deaths were shabby, partial, cruel and indecent," he said.

"(The execution) were not the sovereign acts of the Indonesian state, let alone the Indonesian people. They were the exercise of naked power by the Indonesian executive."

But Indonesia's vice-president Jusuf Kalla said the move was not appropriate.

"If it was respected people, let's say scientists or Australian heroes, Indonesia would definitely agree," he said on Monday, as quoted by Indonesian news website detik.com.

"But the name of criminals for a scholarship, that's less than appropriate."

Source: AAP, May 4, 2015

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