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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…

Australian Federal Police changes policies to avoid another Bali 9 situation

ingleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran executed in April this year
Ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran executed in April this year.
Were the Bali Nine case to occur now, Australian Federal Police could still provide information to Indonesian authorities without first seeking ministerial approval.

That's because guidelines, adopted in 2009, require the minister to approve cooperation with foreign police forces in possible death penalty cases once arrests have been made.

In the Bali Nine case, no-one had been arrested when the AFP tipped off Indonesian police about a group of Australian drug traffickers.

They soon were, with ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran executed in April this year.

But the AFP now says it does things differently.

AFP assistant commissioner Scott Lee said the organisation focused on senior leaders of organised crime groups.

'In recent days and weeks we have had individuals that we are aware of who are travelling offshore as drug couriers,' he told a parliamentary inquiry in Canberra on Friday.

'We have taken active decisions not to communicate that information.'

AFP assistant commissioner Leanne Close said you could 'never say never' about providing information to foreign law enforcement agencies.

'We certainly have strengthened the processes for our officers working offshore and in Australia to make sure they always consider this (the death penalty) first before the provision of any information,' she said.

The parliamentary committee, chaired by long-time death penalty opponent Philip Ruddock, is examining how Australia presses for the international abolition of the death penalty and what more could be done.

In its submission, the AFP said it had to deal with police in other countries, including some that imposed the death penalty, and that cooperation had been demonstrably successful in protecting Australians.

Since 2012, federal agencies had seized 10 tonnes of amphetamines, two tonnes of cocaine, a tonne of heroin plus other drugs weighing 20.3 tonnes - enough for more than eight hits for every person in Australia.

'Without the ability to work with all of our international partners the AFP would be hindered in performing the roles expected by Government and the Australian community,' it said.

In deciding whether to cooperate with foreign police, the AFP now assesses a range of factors.

That includes assessing the reliability of information, seriousness of the alleged criminal activity, nationality, age and personal circumstances of the person involved and potential risks to the person, including the death penalty.

Source: AAP, November 27, 2015


AFP says it has learned Bali Nine lesson

THE Australian Federal Police has changed its policy on providing information to foreign law enforcement agencies in the wake of the outcry over the executions in April of Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

AFP assistant commissioner Scott Lee told a federal parliamentary inquiry yesterday that the organisation was focused on senior leaders of organised crime groups.

"In recent days and weeks we have had individuals that we are aware of who are travelling offshore as drug couriers," he said.

"We have taken active decisions not to communicate that information."

AFP assistant commissioner Leanne Close said the force could "never say never" about providing information to foreign law enforcement agencies, but officers always had to consider the death penalty first.

Source: QT, November 27, 2015

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