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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…

Saudi authorities deny medical help for protester sentenced to death as a child

Ali al-Nimr
Ali al-Nimr
The Saudi authorities are refusing to allow Ali al-Nimr, who was sentenced to death aged 17, access to a doctor, according to his family.

Ali was arrested following anti-government protests in 2012, and sentenced to death in a secretive trial on the basis of a “confession” extracted through torture, even though he was a child at the time.

However, despite international criticism over the case, the Kingdom’s authorities are refusing to allow Ali access to a doctor, and today defended their plans to behead him in the UK’s Daily Telegraph.

A statement on planned ‘reforms’ provided by King Salman’s advisers to the newspaper said that they “cannot understand” calls to stop the execution of Ali and other protesters. The statement comes in the wake of an opinion piece written by the Saudi Ambassador to the UK, in which he criticised the British Government’s refusal to provide services to the Saudi prison system due to human rights concerns.

Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at international human rights organization Reprieve said: “Despite claims of reforms, the Saudi Government remains unrepentant over plans to execute protesters, many of whom were sentenced to death as children. It is astonishing that they 'cannot understand' why there is such outrage over this issue. Worse still, they are now denying Ali al Nimr – sentenced to ‘crucifixion’ after severe torture when he was just 17 – access to a doctor. The international community should demand real reform, not smoke and mirror measures to hide these vile abuses.”
  • Saudi Arabia has carried out at least 151 executions since last year, it was revealed earlier this week. See the Reprieve website for details.
  • Reprieve's recent report on the use of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia is available here.
Source: Reprieve, November 12, 2015

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