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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…

Florida: Circuit Judge Upholds Use Of Lethal Injection Drug

Setting the stage for another Florida Supreme Court death-penalty debate, a Central Florida judge has rejected death row inmate Jerry Correll's arguments that 1 of the drugs in the state's execution protocol could subject the convicted killer to cruel and unusual punishment.

Correll "has not presented sufficient scientific proof to establish that the application of Florida's lethal injection protocol is unconstitutional as applied to him," 9th Judicial Circuit Judge Jenifer M. Davis ruled last week.

The Florida Supreme Court in February put Correll's execution --- ordered by Gov. Rick Scott in January --- on hold, pending the outcome of a U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding Oklahoma's lethal-injection protocol.

In June, a bitterly divided U.S. Supreme Court signed off on the use of the drug midazolam, the 1st of a 3-drug lethal cocktail also used in Florida. The high court found that Oklahoma prisoners failed to prove that use of the drug "entails a substantial risk of severe pain."

After the June decision, the state Supreme Court refused to grant Attorney General Pam Bondi's request to lift the stay on Correll's execution. Instead, the justices asked Davis to rule on Correll's arguments that midazolam poses a heightened risk to him because of his alleged brain damage and history of drug use.

But Davis decided that Correll, convicted of the 1985 stabbing deaths in Orlando of his ex-wife and their 5-year-old daughter as well as his ex-mother-in-law and her sister, failed to prove that the drug was likely or very likely to have a "paradoxical" reaction on the inmate.

Source: WUSF news, Sept. 3, 2015

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