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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…

Ohio: Mother of death row inmate dies after his failed attempts to give her a kidney

Ronald Phillips
Ronald Phillips
The mother of a death row inmate has died after attempts by the inmate to donate his kidney to save her life.

Donna Phillips of Akron died Jan. 11 at age 68. Her son, Ronald Phillips, 42, is next on the list of Ohio death row inmates to die by lethal injection. His execution is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2017, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

The convicted murderer grabbed national headlines in 2014 after the state blocked him from donating his kidney to his ailing mother.

The state had given Phillips a deadline to donate his organ, and he did not meet the deadline.

Ronald Phillips was convicted in Akron of raping and killing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter in 1993, when he was 19 years old.

A spokesperson for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said Phillips will not be permitted to attend his mother’s funeral.

“Death row inmates are not eligible for funeral visits,” the spokesperson said in an email.

Phillips’ execution had been delayed so the state could allow him the time to donate his organ. His execution was then put on hold on Jan. 16, 2014, the day of the botched lethal injection death of Ohio convict Dennis McGuire. In that case, McGuire struggled and gasped for several minutes before dying after he was injected with a combination of drugs used for the first time anywhere in the United States.

Phillips had fought in court for decades to block his execution. His attorneys argued he should not be put to death because his upbringing led him to believe violent behavior was acceptable and normal. He accused his late father, William Phillips Sr., of sexually, physically and verbally abusing him repeatedly during his childhood.

Source: ohio.com, Nick Glunt, Beacon Journal staff writer, January 18, 2016

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