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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…

First Saudi execution after Ramadan pause

Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia carried out its first execution in five weeks on Thursday after a pause for Ramadan, beheading one of its citizens convicted of a double murder.

Sayir Al Rasheedi was found guilty of fatally shooting two Saudi brothers in a dispute, the official Saudi Press Agency reported, citing the interior ministry.

Authorities carried out the sentence against him in the Qassim region.

SPA had reported no executions during the month of Ramadan and the Eid Al Fitr holiday which followed.

The latest beheading brings to 103 the number of executions in the kingdom so far this year, a sharp increase on the 87 recorded during the whole of 2014, according to AFP tallies.

This year’s figure is still below the record 192 which human rights group Amnesty International said were carried out in 1995.

Human Rights Watch has accused Saudi authorities of waging a “campaign of death” by executing more people in the first six months of this year than in all of last year.

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 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: Agence France-Presse, July 24, 2015

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