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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…

Saudi Arabia rejects UN report on death penalty

Public execution in Saudi Arabia
Public execution in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has rejected a report from the United Nations secretary-general urging countries to scrap the death penalty, stating that this was punishment approved under Islamic law to protect the rights of victims.

The UN report was issued recently at a Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. Faisal Trad, Saudi ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said the Kingdom had every right to define its own laws.

"Saudi Arabia is an Islamic state, fully sovereign, and is proud that Islamic law is the basis of the country's constitution. Islam ensures justice and protects the rights of all without discrimination, in addition to the right of life for all. The death penalty is a legal measure to protect the right to life and interests of the community," he said.

He said articles 5 to 19 of the report supported the views of countries that had scrapped capital punishment. "The report, unfortunately, did not include any views from countries that believe this punishment is an integral part of measures to achieve justice and protect the rights of victims," he said.

Trad said the Kingdom was committed to honoring Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the right to apply the penalty, including a commitment to ensure fair trials for all those accused of capital offenses.

He said the Kingdom's courts only sentence people to death for offenses such as murder and drug trafficking.

The country's judiciary is independent and protects the rights of all parties according to international law. In addition, lawyers are allowed to perform their duties without any interference, he said.

Source: Arab News, Sept. 19, 2015

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