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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…

Saudi Arabia beheads 2 of its citizens

Public execution in Saudi Arabia
Public execution in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia beheaded 2 of its citizens for murder Tuesday, adding to what a rights group calls a "campaign of death" in which more than 100 people have been executed.

Mohammed al-Otaibi was convicted of shooting dead another Saudi, the interior ministry said in a statement on the official Saudi Press Agency.

Authorities carried out the sentence in Riyadh.

Separately, Turki al-Zahrani was put to death in the Muslim holy city of Mecca for stabbing dead a fellow Saudi, the ministry said.

The 2 cases brought to 102 the number of Saudi nationals and foreigners executed in the kingdom this year.

That compares with 87 for all of 2014, according to AFP tallies, but is still far below the record 192 which rights group Amnesty International said took place in 1995.

"Saudi authorities have been on a campaign of death this year, executing more people in 6 months than all of the previous year," Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Echoing the concerns of other activists, the New York-based group said it has documented "due process violations" in Saudi Arabia's judiciary that make it difficult for defendants to get fair trials even in capital cases.

Under the conservative kingdom's strict Islamic sharia legal code, drug trafficking, rape, murder, armed robbery, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.

The interior ministry has cited deterrence as a reason for carrying out the punishment.

Source: al-monitor.com, June 16, 2015

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