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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…

The Meeropol Brothers: Exonerate Our Mother, Ethel Rosenberg

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg
OUR parents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, were executed on June 19, 1953, after being convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. That was the formal legal charge, but in the public’s mind they were executed for providing our archenemy, the Soviet Union, with the ability to destroy our country with atomic bombs. Theirs was the most sensational case of the McCarthy period.

Last month, the grand jury testimony of our uncle David Greenglass, who died last year, was made public, the latest in a trove of material released since 2008 after we and others filed a legal action. Back then, we concluded that our father was legally guilty of the conspiracy charge, but not of atomic spying, and we maintain that neither of our parents deserved the death penalty.

The newly released 46-page transcript — along with previously released testimony and other records — demonstrates conclusively that our mother was prosecuted primarily for refusing to turn on our father. We now call on President Obama to acknowledge that Ethel Rosenberg was wrongly convicted and executed.

The evidence presented against Ethel at the trial, in March 1951, consisted mainly of testimony by her brother, David, and his wife, Ruth. They testified that in November 1944, Ethel helped Julius persuade Ruth to recruit David (an Army machinist working at the weapons installation in Los Alamos, N.M.) into Julius’s espionage ring. They testified that Ethel participated in a September 1945 meeting at which David gave a sketch to Julius of a cross-section of the bomb, and at which Ethel typed David’s handwritten notes explaining the diagram.

The record refutes these claims. David’s grand jury testimony, on Aug. 7, 1950, made no mention of any such meeting with Ethel, much less the typing.


Source: The New York Times, The Opininon Pages, Michael Meeropol and Robert Meeropol, August 10, 2015

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