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…

Montana: Judge knocks down death penalty drug

HELENA District Court Judge Jeffrey Sherlock ruled Tuesday that Montana’s use of the drug pentobarbital in executions doesn’t comply with laws that govern lethal injection in Montana, a move that the American Civil Liberties Union claimed stayed all Montana executions indefinitely.

The decision comes from ACLU’s legal challenge in early September.

According to the ACLU, at issue was what the state Legislature meant when it specified use of an “ultra-fast-acting barbiturate” and whether pentobarbital meets that definition.

The court determined that pentobarbital did not and prohibited the state from using it in its lethal injection protocol, the ACLU stated.

The governor’s office declined comment. Anastasia Burton, deputy communications director for Attorney General Tim Fox, said their department was still studying the decision and would have no comment at this time.

The state has 60 days to appeal.

According to the ACLU, attorney Ron Waterman filed the lawsuit on behalf of death row inmate Ronald Allen Smith in 2008.

The lawsuit now also includes Montana’s only other prisoner on death row, William Gollehon.

ACLU legal director Jim Taylor said the state has had chances to correct the problems with the death penalty protocol. “And each time they came up with a new flawed procedure,” he said “Seven years of litigation has demonstrated that Montana's death penalty is broken beyond repair.”

Caitlin Borgmann, the ACLU’s executive director, stated in the news release: “While the ACLU will continue to fight for the abolition of the death penalty in Montana, we are gratified that, in the short term, our state will be staying out of the business of killing people.”

The ACLU said Montana is the only state that stipulates a two-drug lethal injection protocol and requires one of the drugs to be an “ultra fast-acting barbiturate.”

Borgmann said as of now, the death penalty is not an option in Montana and it would continue to be that way until the statute is amended.

"We won on this specific narrow issue …," she said. "But we will continue to fight for a more affirmative abolition of the death penalty in Montana."

Source: Great Falls Tribune, October 6, 2015

Report an error, an omission: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Texas: Montgomery County DA asks governor to stay Anthony Shore's execution

Texas court halts execution to review claims that co-defendant lied at trial

Texas Should Not Have Executed Robert Pruett

Alabama executes Torrey Twane McNabb

Hours before execution, Tourniquet Killer granted 90-day stay at DA's request

The Execution Dock in London was used for more than 400 years to execute pirates, smugglers & mutineers

Execution stayed for Alabama man convicted of killing cop

Justices Won’t Review Florida Death-Penalty Cases

New Hampshire: Death penalty repeal may be back on the table

More drug dealers to be shot dead: Indonesia's National Narcotics Agency chief