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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…

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Alabama's request to vacate Vernon Madison's stay of execution

Vernon Madison
Vernon Madison
BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court in 4-4 vote rejects Alabama's request to vacate Vernon Madison's stay of execution, meaning that Mr. Madison will not be executed as scheduled tonight.

The United States Supreme Court has upheld a lower court's order staying the execution of Alabama death row inmate Vernon Madison.

This morning, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals postponed the execution, which was scheduled to take place today.

EJI lawyers asked the court to stay Mr. Madison's execution because he is incompetent to be executed. 

As a result of multiple strokes over the last year, and other serious medical conditions, Mr. Madison suffers from vascular dementia, which has left him unable to rationally understand why the State is seeking to execute him. 

Mr. Madison now speaks in a slurred manner, is legally blind, and can no longer walk independently as a consequence of damage to his brain.

It is unconstitutional to execute an individual who is mentally incompetent. The Eleventh Circuit ordered a stay so that it could properly consider the claim that his execution would violate the constitution.

The State of Alabama asked the Supreme Court to overturn the Eleventh Circuit's order, but the Court instead upheld the lower court's order.

Source: EJI, May 12, 2016

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