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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…

Shafqat Hussain execution a "deeply sad day" for Pakistan

Pakistan must immediately impose a moratorium on the death penalty after the execution of a man who was below 18 years old at the time of the crime, according to his lawyers, and who was tortured into a "confession" by police, Amnesty International said.

Shafqat Hussain, who was sentenced to death for kidnapping and involuntary manslaughter in 2004, was this morning hanged in Karachi Central Jail. He was convicted under the Anti-Terrorism Act of Pakistan despite no known links to any terrorist organisation. His execution had been stayed 4 times since Pakistan lifted the moratorium on executions in December 2014.

"This is another deeply sad day for Pakistan. A man whose age remains disputed and whose conviction was built around torture has now paid with his life - and for a crime for which the death penalty cannot be imposed under international law," said David Griffiths, Amnesty International's South Asia Research Director.

"The government has shown a callous indifference to not just human life, but also to international law and standards. It has even ignored recommendations by one of its own bodies, the Sindh Human Rights Commission, to request the Supreme Court to consider the evidence relating to his juvenility and 'confession' extracted through torture."

Since Pakistan lifted a moratorium on executions in December 2014, Amnesty International has recorded at least 200 executions.

"It is too late to save Shafqat Hussain's life, but there are still thousands of others on death row in Pakistan who are at risk. The government has taken at least 200 lives already over the past 8 months - this must end immediately. Authorities must impose a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to its eventual repeal," David Griffths said.

Source: Amnesty International, August 4, 2015

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