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…

Indonesia: Drug trafficker gets death sentence, two others get life

The Medan District Court sentenced Amrih Prayoga to death on Wednesday. He was one of three defendants accused of possessing 25 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and 30,000 ecstasy pills.

In a separate trial, the court sentenced the two other defendants, Ramlan Siregar and Rahmat Suwito, to life imprisonment.

Prosecutors in both trials had sought the death sentence, but in Ramlan and Rahmat’s trial, the panel of judges opted for the lighter punishment.

The presiding judge in Amrih’s case, Aksir, said in his verdict that the aggravating factor was that the defendant had trafficked a large amount of drugs and had also played a role as a middleman in smuggling the contraband from Malaysia to Medan.

“The defendant violated Article 114 of Law No. 35/2009 on narcotics. Thereby, Amrih Prayoga is sentenced to death,” Aksir said.

Police arrested Ramlan, Rahmat and Amrih in September last year, seizing 25 kg of crystal meth and 30,000 ecstasy pills weighing 10 kg.

Their arrest stemmed from the arrest of Hendra Gunawan in the parking lot of Maju Bersama supermarket on Jl. Tritura, Amplas, Medan. Police confiscated 0.5 grams of crystal meth from Hendra.

Building on the case, police arrested Ramlan, but could find no evidence he was involved in drug smuggling. However, Ramlan confessed he had obtained the contraband at Tanjung Balai Harbor, North Sumatra, where it had been brought by a Malaysian contact named Amir.

Ramlan said he had handed the drugs he obtained from Amir to Rahmat, who was then arrested by police as he was waiting for a bus in Sekata Air Batu in Asahan regency, North Sumatra.

Police seized a sack consisting of 25 plastic bags, each filled with crystal meth weighting 25 kg, and six plastic bags filled with 30,000 ecstasy pills weighing 10 kg.

Rahmat claimed he was instructed to take the drugs to Amrih, who was then arrested by police at his house in Medan Baru, Medan. Amrih claimed he had acted only as a field coordinator and as a direct contact for Amir.

Source: The Jakarta Post, Apriadi Gunawan and Djemi Amnifu, June 18, 2015

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