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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…

UN 'Deeply' Troubled by Somalia's Summary Executions

Firing squad execution of suspected militants in Somalia, August 2014.
Firing squad execution of suspected militants in Somalia, August 2014.
The United Nations is "deeply concerned" about summary executions against suspected militants in Somalia, a UN official said, echoing previous concerns by a New-York based rights group which accused Somalia's military court of carrying out rapid executions.

Speaking to the reporters in the Somali capital on Tuesday, Ivan Simonovic, the U.N Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights has urged Somalia's government to give defendant an adequate time to prepare a defense before proceeding to convictions.

"I think we have to act in accordance with the international law." Mr. Simonovic said at the press conference.

He also warned of abuses against militants in the government-run jails, urging the government against convicting and sentencing suspected militants without due process.

"You cannot defeat Al-Shabab only by military operations only, but you should instead address the actual roots and origins of the extremism, which includes poverty, corruption, mismanagement and discrimination against minority people." he said.

The UN's concerns follow previous reports by the Human Rights Watch which called into question the quality of justice in Somalia's military courts.

Under international law, the death penalty is permitted only after a rigorous judicial process - a fair trial in which the defendant has adequate time to prepare a defence and appeal the sentence, among other requirements.

"A central concern was the speed at which death sentences have been carried out." the rights group said in a lengthy report issued this year.

The group has also called for Somali president to impose a moratorium on the death penalty, and that his government to work to ensure that all national courts, civilian and military, respect fair trial standards. "Without serious improvements in the quality of trials, the injustices of the past will continue." the report said. MFA

Source: geeskaafrika.com, November 19, 2015

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