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…

Nebraska: Group in Norfolk Working to Bring Death Penalty Issue to a Public Vote

Gathering signatures against the Nebraska repeal of the death penalty
Gathering signatures against the Nebraska repeal of the death penalty
There's a new storefront in Norfolk, Nebraska, but they aren't selling anything, they're just asking for signatures. Volunteers in Norfolk have joined forces with a group called Nebraskans for the Death Penalty to collect enough signatures to bring the legislature's repeal of capitol punishment to a public vote.

Ron Stauffer, who's leading the push in Norfolk tells ABC9 news, "A couple of the Senators made a statement in the paper that they voted their own issues, their own convictions, and that's not why they're in the legislature, they're there to vote what their consistuents sent them there to vote."

Supporters around town have joined Stauffer's efforts including Vivian Tuttle.

"My daughter was killed in at the US Bank in Norfolk, NE in 2002. Those people have been on death row for 12 years and 9 months. I want it finished. I want them to get the death penalty," Tuttle says.

Tuttle adds that her family needs some sense of closure, and she's motivated to unite people who want the same.

"I'm not going to give up, I'm gonna go any place I can go to find some people that will sign this petition."

But, not everyone she asks to sign the petition agree.

Breanna Lemke-Elznic declined saying, "We cannot punish people for being killers or rapists or other horrible things by killing them. It's kind of a double standard that I feel is inappropriate."

And while that may be the sentiment that wins out, Stauffer and Tuttle just hope this petition will lead to Nebraskans being heard.

"If it gets voted down, I'm fine with that. At least the people had the opportunity to decide that. It was not decided by just a small group of people," Stauffer adds.

The group needs roughly 57,000 signatures to place the law on the November ballot. But, to prevent the death penalty change from going into effect before a vote, they need 115,000 by August 27th.

Source: ABC news, July 8, 2015

Families altered by violence weigh in on death penalty petition debate

A family forever changed by horrific violence is showing its support for a push to get the death penalty on the Nebraska ballot.

Andrea Kruger was killed by Nikko Jenkins in August 2013. Her parents will help circulate petitions in Valley this Saturday.

The Roberts family said it's about Nebraska voters getting a say after the unicameral repealed the death penalty this year. However, other families touched by violence are on the other side of the issue.

"I'm only as strong as the support that I receive," said Kruger's mother, Teri Roberts.

Nearly two years after losing her daughter, weeks after returning home from surviving and undergoing physical rehabilitation for a life-threatening and life-changing illness, Roberts and her husband Kent are volunteering their time, to get the death penalty on the 2016 ballot.

"I wanted to play my part in it, so that's why I volunteered myself and my husband to collect signatures on Saturday," Teri Roberts said.

The 2 will be at Valley's City Hall, knowing the fate of Jenkins depends entirely on it.

"There are those few in this world that I think really should be held accountable and executed for the lives that they've taken and the lives that they've left behind that have been destroyed," said Teri Roberts.

Tricia Moore disagrees. Her son Jer'Ray died in April 2013. His killer, DeVaughn Green, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 60 years in prison. Moore signed a public letter against the death penalty.

"I don't think an eye for an eye, a life for a life," Moore said. "I don't feel that way. It's not going to bring him back."

The Roberts said in the most horrific attacks, even life in prison couldn't bring justice.

"Come on," Kent Roberts said. "This guy deserves to live for this? No, not at all. Put yourself in our position and what would you think?"

In order to get the issue on the November 2016 ballot, organizers need to collect about 57,000 valid signatures by the end of August.

Source: KETV.com, July 8, 2015

150 sign petition here for vote on death penalty

Voters had an opportunity to sign a petition in Albion last Thursday, July 2, to place Nebraska's death penalty on the ballot in 2016.

Anthony Neidhardt of Gretna, an Albion native, was circulating a petition for the death penalty vote on the sidewalk just outside the Boone County Courthouse grounds last Thursday afternoon. 

He reported that he ran out of petitions and about 150 people had signed in Albion.

Source: Albion News, July 8, 2015

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