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…

Kansas: Jurors recommend death sentence for white supremacist

Frazier Glenn Miller Jr.
Frazier Glenn Miller Jr.
Jurors recommended a death sentence Tuesday for the white supremacist who fatally shot three people at Jewish sites in Kansas last year.

The jury convicted 74-year-old Frazier Glenn Miller Jr last week of capital murder for the April 2014 shootings. The judge overseeing the trial will now decide whether to follow the jury’s sentencing recommendation.

Miller, who raised his arm in a Nazi salute after he was convicted, represented himself at the six-day trial. When presenting his defense, the Missouri man said prosecutors had “a slam dunk”. He then told the jurors: “You guys are going to put me on death row. We all know that.”

Miller admitted to killing William Corporon, 69, and Corporon’s 14-year-old grandson Reat Griffin Underwood at the Jewish community center in Overland Park. He also said he shot Terri LaManno, 53, shortly afterward at the nearby Village Shalom retirement center. None of the victims was Jewish.

In a rambling, hour-long closing argument earlier Tuesday, Miller touched on the media, white supremacism and his health. He concluded by telling the jury he didn’t care what sentence they handed down.

“Frankly my dears, I don’t give a damn,” he said, and again raised his right arm in the Nazi salute.

Miller has said he was suffering from chronic emphysema and wanted to kill Jewish people before he died. A doctor testified during trial that Miller likely had five to six years left to live.

Among Miller’s witnesses was his 39-year-old son, Frazier Glenn Miller III, who testified he doesn’t know where his father learned about “hating Jews and about hating other races”.

Miller, a Vietnam war veteran, founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in his native North Carolina and later the White Patriot Party. He also ran for the US House in 2006 and the US Senate in 2010 in Missouri, each time espousing a white-power platform.

Kansas has not executed a death row inmate since reinstating the death penalty in 1994.

Source: The Guardian, Sept. 8, 2015

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