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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…

Pakistan court sentences 5 'hardcore terrorists' to death

5 'hardcore terrorists' were on Wednesday sentenced to death by Pakistan's recently legalised secret military courts for their involvement in sectarian killings and attack on a girls' school.

Army chief General Raheel Sharif confirmed the death sentences of the 5 accused persons. 1 other terrorist was jailed for life by the courts which were established as part of a crackdown on militancy following a massacre at an army-run school in Peshawar last year in which over 150 people, mostly schoolchildren were killed.

"Chief of Army Staff confirms death sentences of another 5 hardcore terrorists, involved in killing of an advocate at Lahore, sectarian killings in Quetta, killings of police officials at Gudab Karachi, breaking of Bannu Jail, attack on a girls school in Khyber Agency and attack on polio team in Khyber Agency," the Army said in a statement.

"Out of 6 terrorists, 5 were awarded death sentence and 1 life imprisonment by the military courts," military spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa said.

The details of trial like date and venue were not shared by the military as the special courts operate in secrecy. Only lawyers of the accused are allowed to attend the proceedings.

On August 25, General Sharif approved an increase in the number of military courts in Karachi to handle "outstanding terrorist cases."

Following the Peshawar attack, the government had lifted the moratorium on the death penalty and the Parliament passed the 21st amendment which established military courts that were challenged in the Supreme Court. The apex court ruled in favour of setting up of the courts earlier this month.

Source: The Hindu, Sept. 3, 2015

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