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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…

Texas: Scheduled Execution Date Withdrawn for Joe Franco Garza

The scheduled execution date for Joe Franco Garza has been withdrawn.

Garza was scheduled for execution on September 2. He was found guilty of the 1998 murder of Silbiano Rangel and sentenced to death.

There is an agreed order that said his execution would be stayed while more DNA testing is completed.

The Lubbock County Criminal District Attorney's Office and Garza's attorneys both agreed to this, according to court records.

The agreed order states that a number of pieces of evidence, including clothing, fingernails, and hair among others, be tested.

"It's not an admission by the DA's office that he's entitled to relief," David Guinn, a Lubbock criminal defense attorney, said. "It's a good thing for the court to do. As a matter of fact, it takes a smart judge with a lot of courage to stop an execution date, but in light of recent scientific revelations and material, why not be safe? Why not make sure?"

Guinn added, "If he's a bad guy he's not going anywhere, and if we get it wrong, well, thank goodness for justice."

"Several pieces of physical evidence are going to be evaluated by the lab. Both parties agreed to that as set forth in the order, and that the results of that testing will come back to Mr. Garza's attorneys, and the State of Texas," Guinn said. "And when they get that back, they'll look at it and decide what to do next."

Source: everythingnlubbokc.com, August 28, 2015

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