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…

Indonesian court sentences drug dealer to death

The Makassar District Court sentenced on Monday a drug dealer, Amiruddin alias Aco, 37, to death for possessing 921 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 4,208 ecstasy pills.

Presiding judge Ibrahim Palino said the court found no mitigating factors in the case of the defendant, who had earlier been sentenced to 20 years by the East Kalimantan District Court for another drug case.

"The defendant was proved guilty of drug abuse, selling and distributing drugs. So, the defendant was sentenced to death," Ibrahim said. Before getting arrested in Makassar, he said, the defendant was apprehended 3 times and sentenced by the East Kalimantan District Court, but Aco escaped from the Balikpapan penitentiary.

The presiding judge also revealed that the East Kalimantan office of the Law and Human Rights Ministry had earlier recommended the court give a heavy sentence against the defendant.

After the court session, the defendant's lawyer Muhammad Yunus said he would discuss further legal steps with his client.

"Personally, I would suggest he appeal, but I have not discussed the verdict with my client," Yunus said.

The verdict was the same as the sentence demanded by the prosecutors on July 29.

"The aggravating factor is the defendant was sentenced 4 times in drug cases and, in the last verdict, he escaped," prosecutor Zulkarnaen A Lopa said as he read the sentence demand, adding that the demand for a death sentence was a first for the Makassar Prosecutor's Office.

Police arrested Amiruddin on Jan. 17, this year in a hotel in Makassar. The police found the meth and pills after searching his rented house and a relative's house in the city. Police earlier apprehended Michael Wibisono, 32, who was carrying 7 grams of crystal meth, in a raid on Jl. Botolempangan. The arrest of Wibisono lead to Aco.

The verdict against Aco adds to the list of people convicted to death for drug cases. The Medan District Court sentenced Amrih Prayoga to death in June this year for possessing 25 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and 30,000 ecstasy pills.

In January, Indonesia executed 6 inmates convicted of drug trafficking charges, namely Ang Kin Soei (who was Dutch), Daniel Enemuo (Nigerian), Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira (Brazilian), Namaona Denis (Nigerian), Rani Andriani alias Melisia Aprilia (Indonesian) and Tran Thi Bich Hanh (Vietnamese).

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticized the application of the death penalty for inmates convicted of drug trafficking charges, saying that it was intolerable as international human rights law has limited the use of the death penalty to only "the most serious crimes", typically crimes resulting in death or grievous bodily harm.

Source: Jakarta Post, August 12, 2015

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