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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…

Todd Willingham remembered at 16th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty


16th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Oct 24, 2015 in Austin, Texas
16th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Oct 24, 2015 in Austin, Texas.
Photo: Todd Willinghma - Innocent and Executed (Facebook Group)

Todd Willingham was remembered by anti-death penalty supporters and activists at the 16th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty on October 24, 2015, on the South Steps of the Texas Capitol.

Six exonerated death row survivors lead the 16th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty: Alfred Dewayne Brown, Ron Keine, Shujaa Graham, Sabrina Butler, Gary Drinkard, and Edward Mpagi. (More here)

In addition to these six living, breathing survivors of death row, some people at the march carried photos of Cameron Todd Willingham, an innocent person executed by the State of Texas in 2004.

Recommended reading:

  • Trial By Fire, The New Yorker, David Grann, September 7, 2009 - The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky. Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside...

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