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…

Sri Lanka hires new hangmen

Sri Lanka says it has hired two new executioners to replace the previous hangman, who quit shortly after seeing the gallows for the first time.

Two other hangmen hired in 2013 failed to show up for work.

The country has not executed anyone since 1976 and the role is described as "light administrative work only".

"In the event the government wants to carry out executions, we should be prepared," said Prisons Commissioner General Rohana Pushpakumara.

Although there are 1,116 convicts on death row, death sentences have been routinely commuted to life in jail for the past 40 years and Sri Lanka last month officially acknowledged it was no longer carrying out capital punishment.

However, there have been calls to bring the death penalty back after a sharp rise in child abuse, rape, murder and drug trafficking since the end of the civil war in 2009.

Last week the government made it clear it was against the move, although President Sirisena said he would support it if parliament approved it because the public was in favour.

'I won't hesitate'

Only 14 of the 24 applicants attended the job interview, Mr Pushpakumara told BBC Sinhala.

"I'm angry at drug traffickers, murderers and those who rape children, so I will not hesitate a moment if I am asked to execute them," said one of the applicants, a former soldier. "If they are not implementing the death penalty then I will quit."

Another said he was attracted by the light workload.

"Even if they want me to execute someone I am ready, but it looks unlikely," he said.

The position of executioner fell vacant in 2014 when the previous hangman quit citing stress soon after seeing the gallows in the capital Colombo.

Source: BBC News, October 14, 2015

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