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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…

Concerns as reports suggest juvenile executions in Saudi may be days away

International human rights NGO Reprieve has raised concerns over Saudi media reports, which suggest that juveniles Ali al Nimr and Dawoud al Marhoon could be executed in days.

Saudi news outlet Okaz has today reported that 55 people convicted of ‘anti-Government offences’, are to be executed in the coming days. A number of those are apparently from the same region as juveniles Ali al Nimr and Dawoud al Marhoon, and Ali’s Uncle, the high profile pro-democracy activist Sheik al Nimr. The fears were compounded after the young men were taken for an announced medical examination in the prison, which suggests their execution has been scheduled.

The reports have raised concerns at human rights NGO Reprieve, which is assisting the two juveniles, that their executions could be imminent, as well as that of Abdallah al-Zaher, who was only 15 when he participated in protests. Both Ali and Dawoud were convicted in part on trumped-up anti-Government charges, despite their being youth activists who attended pro-democracy protests.

Ali al Nimr and Dawoud al Marhoon were both sentenced to death when they were under 18, for attending pro-democracy political protests. Both are understood to have been held in solitary confinement in Riyadh.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has previously called on the Saudi authorities to stop the planned execution of Ali al Nimr, and his government cancelled a bid to provide services to the Saudi prisons because of human rights concerns.

Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve’s Death Penalty Team, said: “These reports are extremely concerning – suggesting that the Saudis may be just days away from executing people convicted when they were children, who were demanding political reform in their country. These executions must be stopped, and Saudi’s allies in the UK must once again make representations to prevent them going ahead.”

Source: Reprieve, November 24, 2015

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