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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…

Missouri Governor Commutes Kimber Edwards' Death Sentence to Life

Kimber Edwards
Kimber Edwards
On Friday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat who has helped set a record pace of executions in the state, commuted the death sentence of a man facing execution next week.

Kimber Edwards was sentenced to death for hiring a hit man to kill his ex-wife in 2000. 

The case relied on the testimony of the killer, who has since recanted his story that Edwards hired him, as well as a confession from Edwards himself.

In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the killer said he framed Edwards to help himself avoid the death penalty.

Edwards’ lawyers claim that police coerced his confession, and that Edwards has a form of autism.

“After a thorough review of the facts surrounding the murder of Kimberly Cantrell, I am convinced the evidence supports the jury’s decision to convict Kimber Edwards of first-degree murder,” Nixon said in a statement Friday.

“At the same time, however, I am using my authority under the Missouri Constitution to commute Edwards’ sentence to life without the possibility of parole,” Nixon continued. “This is a step not taken lightly, and only after significant consideration of the totality of the circumstances. With this decision, Kimber Edwards will remain in prison for the remainder of his life for this murder.”

The move is unusual for Nixon, who during his time in office has overseen the executions of 79 inmates — 20 during his tenure as governor and 59 during his 16-year tenure as attorney general.

Source: BuzzFeed News, Chris McDaniel, October 2, 2015

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