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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…

Amnesty backs Indian law panel's findings on death penalty

Amnesty International India on Tuesday urged the government to accept the findings of the Law Commission on death penalty and immediately abolish it for all crimes.

In a statement, it said the Centre "must heed the findings of a Law Commission report on the unfairness of the death penalty" and immediately abolish it for all crimes.

"The Law Commission points out that in nearly a quarter of the cases in which the Supreme Court has recently given the death penalty, it has done so in error," Aakar Patel, Executive Director of Amnesty International India, said adding the report is a "vital step" forward in the debate around the death penalty in India. He said the Commission debunks many of the "myths surrounding death penalty".

"Although the report stops short of recommending complete abolition, Parliament must seize this opportunity to show political leadership and abolish capital punishment for all crimes," he said.

"As the report says, the government has the power to lead public opinion, and indeed an obligation to do so on issues of human dignity and equality. India's gamble with this lethal lottery needs to stop now," he said.

The 20th Law Commission, in its report submitted on Monday, said the administration of the death penalty in India is "fallible, vulnerable to misapplication, and disproportionately" used against socially and economically marginalised people. The Commission recommended that the death penalty be abolished for all crimes other than terrorism-related offences and waging war and hoped that the movement towards absolute abolition will be "swift and irreversible".

Source: Deccan Herald, Sept. 2, 2015

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