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…

5th juror dismissed from trial of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes

Holmes trial: July 2012 hearing (file photo)
Holmes trial: July 2012 hearing (file photo)
The juror recognized a witness as a parent from the school where she works, following another juror dismissed this week after a family member was shot

A 5th juror has been dismissed from the trial of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes.

The judge on Wednesday said the juror didn't reveal all the facts when she said she recognized a witness who testified in May. Judge Carlos A Samour said he didn't dismiss her earlier because he didn't have all the information.

The juror told the judge on 6 May that she recognized a witness as the parent of a boy who attends the school where the juror works.

That leaves 19 jurors, including 7 alternates. 4 other jurors have been dismissed in the last week.

Lawyers for Holmes this week sought the dismissal of 1 juror because they said other jurors had seen her crying after her brother-in-law was shot in an armed robbery last week in Denver.

In further questioning, the juror said 3 other jurors were with her when her husband called and said her brother-in-law was in a "major accident." She said that's all she told them.

The judge dismissed the juror because of how her brother-in-law's shooting might impact her and because he wasn't sure if she was completely truthful either.

3 others were released last week over concerns they were exposed to media reports and may not have been truthful about it.

Samour found the 3 women violated his orders to avoid outside information on Holmes' death penalty trial and not talk about the case with anyone.

The 1st woman told Samour her husband called her and told her, on speakerphone, that the district attorney had sent a tweet during testimony, which had been in the news.

The other 2 jurors, who sometimes socialized with the 1st juror on breaks, were dismissed because they likely overheard her.

The issue stalled testimony for a day last week, but Samour refused to let it derail the trial, which has been going on for 2 months.

Samour's cuts came after he separately questioned each juror at length about what they had heard. He tried to ensure both sides were comfortable with the outcome.

He decided against getting rid of a fourth juror who said she had heard the first dismissed woman mention the word "mistrial" but didn't know what it was about.

Source: The Guardian, June 17, 2015

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