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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…

Zhou Yongkang, Former Security Chief in China, Gets Life Sentence for Corruption

Zhou Yongkang
Zhou Yongkang
HONG KONG — Zhou Yongkang, China’s former domestic security chief, was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for accepting bribes, abuse of power and revealing state secrets, according to Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency.

He is the most senior official to be convicted of corruption in the history of Communist rule in China.

Mr. Zhou, 72, was tried in secret in the northeastern city of Tianjin. Xinhua said he admitted guilt and would not appeal his conviction.

Mr. Zhou retired in 2012 after a career of building an extensive power base in China’s law-and-order apparatus and the country’s oil and gas industry.

He had served on the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s highest echelon of political power, from 2007 to 2012, and his downfall makes him the highest-ranking figure to be ensnared in President Xi Jinping’s continuing campaign against official corruption.

Prosecutors called the circumstances of his wrongdoing “particularly grave” when they announced charges against him in April. In its verdict, the Tianjin First Intermediate People’s Court said that the bribes were “extremely large” but had been recovered and that the sentence against Mr. Zhou was in accordance with the “degree of harm to society” caused by his crimes.


Source: The New York Times, Austin Ramzy, June 11, 2015

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