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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…

Young Afghan woman stoned to death by Taliban for eloping

Young woman stoned to death by Taliban for eloping in Afghanistan, Nov. 2015
Rokhsahana was stoned to death by Taliban for eloping in Afghanistan
in Oct. 2015. The man with whom she was eloping has not been stoned.
A young Afghan woman who was married against her will has been stoned to death after she eloped with another man, officials said Tuesday, in an attack recorded in a graphic video (see below).

The video of the stoning shows a woman in a hole in the ground as men almost casually hurl stones at her with sickening thuds, local officials told AFP.

The woman, named by officials as Rokhsahana and aged between 19 and 21, can be heard repeating the shahada, or Muslim profession of faith, her voice growing increasingly high-pitched in the nearly 30-second clip run in Afghan media.

Local authorities confirmed the footage, which is playing on Afghan media and is going viral on Facebook. "Yes, the footage shown in the media is related to Rokhsahana, who was stoned to death," a spokesman for the provincial governor told AFP.

The killing took place about a week ago in Ghalmeen, an area some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Ghor provincial capital of Firozkoh, governor Seema Joyenda said.

Rokhsahana had been "stoned to death by Taliban, local religious leaders and irresponsible armed warlords," Joyenda told AFP.

Joyenda, one of Afghanistan's only two female governors, said that according to authorities' information Rokhsahana's family had "married her to someone against her will and she was eloping with a man her age".

She condemned the stoning, calling on Kabul to take action to "clean the area".

"This is the first incident in this area but will not be the last. Women in general have problems all over the country, but especially in Ghor... The man with whom she was eloping has not been stoned."

Ghor police chief Mustafa Mohseni told AFP that the incident happened in a Taliban-controlled area, confirming that it was the first such incident "this year".

Shariah law decrees stoning as the punishment for men and women convicted of having sex outside marriage, but the penalty is very rarely applied in Muslim countries.

It was relatively common in Afghanistan during the Taliban rule from 1996-2001, however.

Source: Agence France-Presse, November 2, 2015


Afghan woman stoned to death for 'adultery'

A young Afghan woman was stoned to death after being accused of adultery, officials said Tuesday, a medieval punishment apparently recorded in a video that harks back to the dark days of Taliban rule.

The 30-second clip run in Afghan media shows a woman in a hole in the ground as turbaned men gather around and hurl stones at her with chilling nonchalance.

The woman, named by officials as Rokhsahana and aged between 19 and 21, is heard repeating the shahada, or Muslim profession of faith, her voice growing increasingly high-pitched as stones strike her with sickening thuds.

The killing took place about a week ago in a Taliban-controlled area just outside Firozkoh, the capital of central Ghor province, officials said, confirming the video which went viral on social media.

"Yes, the footage shown in the media is related to Rokhsahana, who was stoned to death," a spokesman for Ghor's Governor Seema Joyenda told AFP.

Rokhsahana was stoned by a gathering of "Taliban, local religious leaders and armed warlords", Joyenda said.

Joyenda, 1 of only 2 female governors in Afghanistan, said Rokhsahana's family had married her off against her will and that she was caught while eloping with another man her age - seen as tantamount to adultery.

The man was let off with a lashing, Joyenda's spokesman said.

The brutal punishment meted out to Rokhsahana highlighted the endemic violence against women in Afghan society, despite reforms since the hardline Taliban regime fell in 2001.

In March a woman named Farkhunda was savagely beaten and set ablaze in central Kabul after being falsely accused of burning a Koran.

The mob killing triggered protests around the country and drew global attention to the treatment of Afghan women.

Joyenda condemned the stoning in Ghor, calling on Kabul to launch a military operation to rid the area of insurgents and other armed groups.

"This is the 1st incident in this area (this year) but will not be the last," she said.

"Women in general have problems all over the country, but in Ghor even more conservative attitudes prevail."

In September a video from Ghor appeared to show a woman - covered head to toe in a veil and huddled on the ground - receiving lashes from a turbaned elder in front of a crowd of male spectators.

The flogging came after a local court found her guilty of having sex outside marriage with a man, who was similarly punished.

Shariah law decrees stoning as the punishment for men and women convicted of having sex outside marriage, but the penalty is very rarely applied in Muslim countries.

Public lashings and executions were common under the Taliban's 1996-2001 rule, when a strict interpretation of Sharia law was enforced, but such incidents have been less common in recent years.

The Taliban have so far not commented on the stoning in Ghor.

Long condemned as misogynistic zealots, the militants have recently sought to project a softened stance on female rights.

But the insurgents' recent 3-day occupation of the northern provincial capital of Kunduz offers an ominous blueprint of what could happen should they ever return to power.

Harrowing testimonies have emerged of Taliban death squads methodically targeting a host of female rights workers and journalists just hours after the city fell on September 28.

Source: The Express Tribune, November 3, 2015


- Video of the stoning to death of Rokhsahana in Ghalmeen, Taliban-controlled Ghor province, Afghanistan (Warning: Disturbing images and sounds)


video



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