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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…

Egypt's deposed president Mursi appeals death sentence

The court-appointed legal team representing deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi filed an appeal on Saturday at the country's highest court challenging sentences of life imprisonment and death handed down in June, Mursi's lawyer said.

The Cairo criminal court sentenced Mursi to death over a mass jail break during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak as well as life imprisonment for giving state secrets to Qatar. It also issued sweeping punishments against the leadership of the Musim Brotherhood, Egypt's oldest Islamic group.

The general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, and 4 other leaders were also handed the death penalty. More than 90 others, including influential cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi, were sentenced to death in absentia.

The sentences were part of a crackdown launched after an army takeover stripped Mursi of power in 2013 following protests against his rule. Hundreds of Islamists have been killed and thousands arrested.

The government has declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group and has accused it of fomenting an Islamist insurgency since Mursi's removal, but the group has said it is committed to political change through peaceful means only.

Mursi has not appointed a lawyer to defend himself and has refused to recognize the legitimacy of the court proceedings, saying he remains the legitimate president of the country.

The government has said the judiciary is independent and it never intervenes in its work.

Source: Reuters, August 15, 2015

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