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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…

Ohio bill puts limits on post-trial death penalty evidence

An Ohio Senate committee has voted to allow limits on the ability of condemned killers to gather post-trial evidence in death penalty cases.

New language in the bill before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee allows judges to deny requests for evidence gathering if it would annoy, embarrass or unduly burden the person from whom the evidence is sought.

The Republican-controlled committee approved the change along party lines Wednesday but did not vote on the overall bill itself.

Republican Sen. Bill Seitz of Cincinnati says the bill is still an improvement over existing law which leaves the decision to allow post-trial evidence gathering up to judges.

Kari Underwood of the Ohio Public Defender's Office says such evidence limits are inappropriate in death penalty cases.

Source: Associated Press, Sept. 24, 2015

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