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…

Martin Garnett: Australian drug smuggler free after 22 years in prison

Martin Garnett is led away in chains after his arrest in Thailand in 1993.
Martin Garnett after his arrest in Thailand in 1993
AFTER spending more than 20 years in some of the world’s most notorious prisons, the drug smuggler who holds the Australian record for the longest overseas incarceration is a free man.

Martin Garnett, 48, was released from Silverwater jail last week and fulfilled a wish decades in the making — heading straight to the beach and staring out over the ocean.

Mr Garnett was arrested in Bangkok in 1993 with 4.7kg of heroin strapped to his body. He was put on death row but his sentence was commuted to 40 years in 1994.

He was left to fight for his life in Thailand’s hellish jail system, surviving death squads known as “samurais” and corrupt prison guards who wanted him dead.

“Freedom is finally here after 22 long years,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“What I’d like to do is send the message that anybody can turn their life around. It does not matter if you are ­facing a death sentence in Thailand.

“You can change your life. You can work hard on becoming a better person.”

“Sadly, (Bali Nine ringleaders) Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan will not have the opportunity to go on and do some good in the world after turning their lives around,’’ Mr Garnett said.

During his time in prison overseas Mr Garnett converted to Islam with the guidance of a Pakistani Muslim teacher and adopted the name Amin Mubarak.

“I went to the beach this week and stood with nothing between myself and the horizon. I was so happy and humbled by just being there,’’ he said.

Source: The Daily Telegraph, Taylor Auerbach, October 6, 2015

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