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…

South Korea: Army conscript gets death penalty in appellate court for deadly shooting

The military appellate court sentenced an Army sergeant to the death penalty Monday for killing 5 fellow soldiers in a shooting rampage at a border outpost last year.

The ruling by the High Court for Armed Forces confirmed the capital punishment on the 23-year-old conscript, surnamed Lim, delivered by a local military court in February.

Five comrades were killed while seven others were wounded as Lim detonated a grenade and sprayed a hail of bullets in June last year in the military outpost of the 22nd Infantry Division near the tensely-guarded border in Goseong, Gangwon Province, 477 kilometers northeast of Seoul.

"The defendant inflicted grenade and shooting attacks on his fellow soldiers and superiors who were carrying out their sacred national defense duty at a front-line military unit located close to North Korean troops," the military court said as reasons for the sentence.

"This caused a major vacuum in national defense and damaged public trust and morale inside the military," the court said.

Right after the shooting involving a K-2 rifle, Lim fled with the gun and ammunition in order to kill himself, but was captured alive 2 days later.

Lim claimed the shooting was a result of bullying he faced inside the barracks, but the court did not accept the defense, dismissing the appeal.

In South Korea, all able-bodied men are required to fill nearly 2 years of mandatory military service as the country is technically at war with North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice agreement, not a peace treaty.

Source: Yonhap News, August 17, 2015

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