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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…

Virginia Death Row Inmates Ask Court to Keep Expanded Privileges

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia's death row inmates say they fear the expanded privileges they recently received are only temporary and are asking a judge to forbid the state from reinstating what they consider to be "dehumanizing conditions."

Prison officials overhauled Virginia's death row policies this year after several inmates sued the state. 

Officials granted the seven men awaiting execution more recreation time, among other things.

But the inmates' attorneys say unless the court intervenes, there's nothing stopping officials from rolling back those changes and reinstating restrictions that they argue amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

Prison officials reject the inmates' claim that their prior treatment was unconstitutional. 

Furthermore, they've asked the judge to rule in their favor, saying a trial is unnecessary because the previous policies are no longer in effect.

Source: AP, December 30, 2015

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