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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…

Irish juvenile Ibrahim Halawa marks 1000 days facing death penalty in Egypt

Egypt protests
An Irish student who was arrested in the wake of protests in Egypt marks 1000 days of detention facing a potential death sentence.

Ibrahim Halawa faces the death penalty despite having been a juvenile - aged just 17 - at the time of his arrest in August 2013. He is being subjected to an ongoing mass trial alongside hundreds of adults, which has been delayed on multiple occasions.

Following his arrest, the Egyptian police beat Ibrahim and denied him medical treatment. He has since been subjected to periods of solitary confinement in cells with no light or toilet.

Despite the fact that Ibrahim was a juvenile when he was arrested he has been held in adult prisons and is being tried by adult courts. International human rights organisation Reprieve has discovered that hundreds of children - including some as young as 6 - were arrested in the same breakup of protests as Ibrahim. Efforts to have Ibrahim's case transferred to a juvenile court have been rejected.

The 493 defendants in Ibrahim's mass trial are charged with attending an illegal protest during which protesters allegedly caused deaths and criminal damage. They are being held jointly responsible for these offences, despite a lack of specific evidence linking the vast majority of them to these crimes.

Commenting, Harriet McCulloch, Deputy Director of the death penalty team at Reprieve, which is assisting Ibrahim, said:

"Ibrahim has now suffered 1000 days of appalling mistreatment in violation of both international and Egyptian law. It is a scandal that the Egyptian authorities continue to seek the death penalty for Ibrahim despite his having been a child at the time of his arrest. The Egyptian authorities must immediately call an end to this mass trial and others like it and release Ibrahim and the hundreds of others like him who have been illegally detained for so long."

Source: reprieve.org, May 12, 2016

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