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…

Chad reintroduces death penalty

Chad has beefed up its security in recent weeks after a spate of deadly attacks by Boko Haram.

Amid several suicide bombings in the past few months, Chad reintroduced the death penalty for acts of terrorism.

The Chadian parliament voted unanimously on Thursday to reauthorize the death penalty, 6 months after its abolition, the BBC reported.

On June 17, the country banned people from wearing burqas, or full-face veil, 2 days after 2 suicide bombers killed more than 30 people.

Despite the ban, on July 11 a Boko Haram suicide bomber man dressed in a woman's burqa blew himself up in the capital's main market, killing 15 people. Now Chad has aimed at arresting anyone who wears a burqa.

The country also opened a 2-week campaign against Boko Haram, during which the government says its forces killed 117 insurgents, Reuters reported.

Chad is the second country that has decided in the past few months to attempt to deter terrorism by resuming the death penalty.

Last March, Pakistan also lifted its moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases. On July 29, the United Nations urged Pakistan to halt executions.

The UN says the death penalty is an extreme form of punishment that, if used at all, should only be imposed for the most serious crimes, "after a fair trial that respects the most stringent due process guarantees as stipulated in international human rights law."

In July 2014, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said "Death penalty has no place in 21st century" and urged countries to stop the practice.

Currently, more than 160 UN member states have either abolished the death penalty or do not practice it. But there are still dozens of countries that carry out death sentences.

In December 2014, the Guardian analyzed Amnesty International data and concluded that at least 1,722 people were sentenced to death in 58 countries in 2012, which showed a decrease from 2011 with 1,923 executions in 63 countries worldwide.

The Guardian reported in 2013 at least 778 executions were carried out in 22 countries. In 2014, Amnesty International said the number of recorded death sentences has jumped by almost 500, compared to 2013.

Last year, China had the highest rate of the executions. Amnesty believes thousands were executed.

The other countries topping the list were Iran, with 289 officially and at least 454 unannounced executions; Saudi Arabia, with at least 90 executions; Iraq, with at least 61 executions; and the US, with 35 executions. The United States is the only G7 country that still executes people.

According to The Washington Post, Amnesty International data shows that in 2014 the number of death sentences handed down experienced a dramatic increase but there was a drop in the number of executions carried out.

Source: Christian Science Monitor, July 31, 2015

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