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…

Pennsylvania high court to weigh Wolf's death-penalty moratorium

The constitutionality of Gov. Tom Wolf's death-penalty moratorium is the focus of a hearing before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams challenged the moratorium only days after Wolf announced it in February. 

Lawyers will make oral arguments Thursday in Philadelphia.

Wolf has granted reprieves for three death-row prisoners as part of an effort to block executions until a legislative panel completes a study of capital punishment. 

His lawyers argue that the state constitution gives the governor unconditional power to grant reprieves.

Williams contends that the moratorium is unconstitutional and amounts to the improper use of a reprieve to achieve the indefinite suspension of a death sentence.

The case involves Terrance Williams, whose scheduled execution in March for a 1984 killing was canceled by Wolf's 1st reprieve.

Source: Associated Press, Sept. 10, 2015

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