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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…

Chad executes 10 Boko Haram members 1 day after verdict

Chad executed by firing squad 10 members of Boko Haram on Saturday, the security minister said, marking the 1st use of the death penalty since the country bolstered its anti-terror measures last month.

The 10 men were sentenced to death on Friday after being convicted of crimes including murder and the use of explosives. 

They were killed at around 11 a.m., Ahmat Mahamat Bachir, the security minister, said Saturday.

Those killed included Bahna Fanaye, alias Mahamat Moustapha, who Chadian officials have described as a leader of the Nigeria-based group.

Chad has vowed to take a leading role in a regional force to fight Boko Haram that is also expected to include soldiers from Cameroon, Benin and Niger in addition to Nigeria. Boko Haram has targeted Nigeria's neighbors in regular attacks this year.

In June and July Chad's capital, N'Djamena, was rocked by a series of suicide attacks that killed dozens of people - the 1st such attacks since Boko Haram threatened the country earlier this year.

In 1 attack, suicide bombers on motorcycles targeted 2 buildings in the capital. In another, a man disguised as a woman wearing a burqa detonated a bomb outside the city's main market.

Last September, Chad drew praise from rights groups for a draft penal code that abolished capital punishment. 

The International Federation for Human Rights said at the time that the country had observed a moratorium on the death penalty since 1991 with the exception of 9 executions that took place in November 2003. But anti-terror measures approved by lawmakers last month in response to the recent attacks brought the death penalty back.

Source: Associated Press, August 30, 2015


UN office criticizes Chad for execution of 10

The U.N.'s main human rights office is criticizing Chad's execution of 10 Boko Haram members by firing squad.

Cecile Pouilly of the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights called Tuesday on the African country's government to introduce a moratorium on the death penalty, which was restored in a counterterrorism law passed in July.

Pouilly said OHCHR officials were not granted access to Friday's trial, which was relocated for security reasons and reduced from 8 to 2 days. She said it wasn't clear if the defendants had access to lawyers.

The 10 men were executed Saturday for crimes including murder and the use of explosives following suicide attacks in the capital, N'Djamena, in June and July that killed dozens of people.

Source: Associated Press, Sept. 1, 2015

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