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…

Death sentence imposed on F. Glenn Miller Jr. in Kansas hate crime killings

F. Glenn Miller Jr.
F. Glenn Miller Jr.
A judge on Tuesday issued the death penalty for the white supremacist convicted of shooting to death 3 people at 2 Jewish centers in Kansas last year.

The 74-year-old Missouri man who unleashed years of pent-up anti-Semitism in a spasm of gunfire that killed three Christians was sentenced Tuesday to death.

Johnson County District Judge Kelly Ryan followed the recommendation of the jury that earlier this year found F. Glenn Miller Jr. guilty of capital murder in the April 13, 2014, shooting spree in Overland Park.

“Your attempt to bring hate into this community and terrorize this community has failed,” Ryan said. “You have failed, Mr. Miller.”

Immediately after the sentence was imposed, Miller exploded in an angry outburst. Deputies removed him from the courtroom.

Miller’s rampage outside the Jewish Community Center and the Village Shalom care center took the lives of 14-year-old Reat Underwood; his grandfather William Corporon, 69; and Terri LaManno, 53, who worked with visually impaired children.

Though Miller failed in his stated motive to kill as many Jews as possible that day, he defiantly declared his “mission” a success. On Tuesday, he reiterated his hatred of Jews and desire to kill Jewish people.

“I’d do it again,” he said of the shootings, “if they ever let me out of here.”

In contrast to Miller’s profession of hate, relatives of the people he killed said his act of evil had strengthened their commitment to love and compassion to others.

In addition to the death sentence for capital murder, Miller was sentenced Tuesday on three counts of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault and discharging a firearm into an occupied building. The judge imposed a total sentence of 394 months, more than 32 years, for those crimes.

Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., will be housed in the special management unit at the El Dorado Correctional Facility in southeast Kansas. There, he will be confined to his cell 23 hours a day. The hour each day he will spend outside his cell to shower or exercise will be done with no contact with other inmates.

It is only the second time a case from Johnson County has resulted in a death sentence since Kansas reinstated capital punishment in 1994. Convicted serial killer John E. Robinson Sr. was sentenced to death in 2003. The Kansas Supreme Court upheld Robinson’s death sentence last week.

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Source: The Kansas City Star, November 11, 2015

Kansas white supremacist sentenced to death for 3 murders

A judge on Tuesday issued the death penalty for the white supremacist convicted of shooting to death 3 people at 2 Jewish centers in Kansas last year.

Johnson County District Court Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan sentenced Frazier Glenn Cross, 74, to die by lethal injection.

A jury in early September convicted Cross, a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan, of the murders and recommended that he be put to death. Cross also was convicted of 3 counts of attempted murder for shooting at 3 other people.

The jury found Cross guilty of killing Reat Underwood, 14, and his grandfather, William Corporon, 69, outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, and Terri LaManno, 53, outside a Jewish retirement home, both in Overland Park, Kansas.

After the judge announced his decision, Cross gave the "Heil Hitler" salute and was forcibly removed from the courtroom.

On the way out, Cross said, "One day my spirit will rise from the grave and you'll know I was right. I'm a happy man."

Cross said in court on Tuesday, as he did during the trial, that he wanted to kill Jews because he believes they control the media, financial institutions and the government.

"Jews are destroying the white race," he said, calling himself a patriot. None of those he killed were Jewish.

In court statements before the sentencing, several relatives of victims denounced Cross for his views and spoke of their painful losses. Cross, a military veteran, sat at a court table in a wheel chair, sometimes glancing up at those who spoke at the podium.

Will Corporon, son of William Corporon, glared at Cross as he talked.

"You are a coward," he said. "You are not a patriot. You are a disgrace to the uniform you wore."

Cross, representing himself in court, said on Tuesday he should be released because he was justified in trying to kill Jews.

"I wanted to kill Jews, not Christians and I do regret it," Cross said. During the trial he faulted the victims for associating with Jews by going to Jewish centers.

Melinda Corporon, wife of William Corporon, told Cross he has never known love.

"We are here today to make sure this voice of evil is silenced permanently," she said.

Kansas restored the death penalty in 1994; no one has been executed in the state since 1965.

Source: Reuters, November 11, 2015

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