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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…

27 Muslims on trial for apostasy in Sudan

Some 27 Sudanese Muslims are standing trial in a Khartoum court accused of apostasy, risking the death penalty if they are convicted, their lawyer told AFP on Thursday.

The men are accused of taking the Koran as the sole source of religious legitimacy and rejecting other Islamic texts.

"The court in Kalakla in south Khartoum has started the trial of 27 defendants brought before it under Article 126 of Sudanese criminal law, apostasy from Islam," defence lawyer Ahmed Ali Ahmed told AFP by telephone.

If convicted of apostasy, the defendants could face the death penalty under the Sharia Islamic law that has been in place in Sudan since 1983.

They are also charged with disturbing the public order, Ahmed said.

Ahmed said investigators told the court that police arrested 5 of the defendants on November 2 inside a market in the southern Khartoum neighbourhood of Mayo "when they were talking to people about their conviction in the belief in the Koran and how they don't recognise" other religious texts.

He said that the remainder were arrested the next day for the same reasons.

The defendants are accused of belonging to adheres strictly to the Koran and rejects the authority of the sunnah, traditions attributed to the Muslim Prophet Mohammed.

Both Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims rely on the sunnah as a source of Islamic law.

The trial of the 27 started last Sunday and went through four sessions during which the judge heard the investigators' case against the men before it adjourned on Wednesday.

It resumes on December 8.

Source: Agence France-Presse, December 3, 2015

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