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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…

China sentences two men to death for murder of British monk

Kagyu Samye Ling monastery in Scotland
Kagyu Samye Ling monastery in Scotland
China has sentenced two men to death for killing a British monk who founded Europe’s first Tibetan monastery, state media said.

Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, co-founder of Scotland’s Kagyu Samye Ling monastery near Langholm, in Dumfries and Galloway, was found dead with multiple stab wounds at his home in the south-western city of Chengdu in 2013.

A court in the city sentenced two men, named in Chinese as Tudeng Gusang and Tsering Banjue, to death for the murders of Akong Rinpoche and two other men, while an accomplice was sentenced to three years in jail, the state-run China News Service reported late on Sunday.

It cited authorities as saying that Gusang, who had worked at the Scottish monastery, and Banjue had stabbed Akong Rinpoche, his nephew and a driver to death in a dispute over a 2.7m yuan (£286,000) payment.

The verdict, posted by the court on social media, said the murders were “brutal” and that the suspects would be “treated severely in accordance with the law”.

Britain said in a statement that it communicated its opposition to the death penalty to Beijing.

Akong Rinpoche, who was in his early 70s, took British citizenship after fleeing Tibet in 1959, and founded the monastery in 1967. He had the title of Rinpoche, an honorific given to the most respected teachers in Tibetan Buddhism, and his community said at the time of his killing that he had been “assassinated”.


Source: The Guardian, Agence France-Presse, Feb 1, 2016

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