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…

Pro-death penalty group raised, spent more than $900K on petition drive to put issue before voters

LINCOLN — The organization that successfully collected signatures for a voter referendum on Nebraska’s death penalty raised and spent more than $900,000 on its petition drive.

A group that opposes capital punishment, meanwhile, collected and spent about half as much to combat the petition drive.

Nebraskans for the Death Penalty raised $261,000 from July 28 to Sept. 21, according to a report filed Monday with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. The sum was on top of the $652,000 it had raised earlier.

The largest donors during the most recent reporting period were the Judicial Crisis Network and Robert Mercer, who gave $100,000 each.

The network also gave $200,000 in early July, making it the largest overall donor to the petition drive. The Washington, D.C.-based group describes itself as “dedicated to strengthening liberty and justice” with a commitment to limited government, the rule of law and a fair and impartial judiciary.

Mercer, a New York hedge fund manager with a $12.5 billion fortune, has frequently put his money to work for conservative causes.

Gov. Pete Ricketts, who made a fortune as an executive with his family’s company, TD Ameritrade, earlier gave $200,000 and ranked as the largest individual donor. His father, Joe Ricketts, who started the company, earlier gave $100,000.

The pro-death penalty group raised $913,000 since the petition drive started in early June. It spent a little more than $903,000, leaving about $10,000 in cash on hand, according to Monday’s report.

Source: omaha.com, September 29, 2015

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