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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…

Texas: Gustavo Garcia set for execution

Gustavo Garcia in 1992
Gustavo Garcia in 1992
A Plano man is set to be executed Tuesday after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his latest - and likely final - appeal.

In December 1990, then-19-year-old Gustavo Garcia shot and killed store clerk Craig Turski, according to police. He confessed to the crime after being arrested in connection to the murder of another store clerk the following month.

Police found Garcia hiding inside a store cooler after his friend, Christopher Vargas, 15, shot and killed Gregory Marin, 18. Garcia was charged in that case but never tried.

Garcia's attorneys have long contended that his written confession should have been thrown out because it did not include language that he had "knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily" waived his right to remain silent.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned his conviction in 1994, only to reinstate it during a follow-up hearing.

In 1998, Garcia joined 6 other inmates in a daring prison escape attempt. Garcia surrendered before making it off prison grounds.

Garcia was given a new sentencing hearing in 2000 after a chief psychologist with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice testified that being Hispanic made him a threat.

Garcia received another death sentence in 2001.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Garcia's latest appeal. It then refused to revisit that decision Wednesday.

Garcia will be the 3rd Texan executed this year, and the 1st one from Collin County since 2010. He will be just the 7th Collin County man executed since Texas resumed the death penalty in 1982, according to officials.

Source: starlocalmedia.com, Feb. 13, 2016

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