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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…

Council of Europe warns Turkey over death penalty restoration plans

The Council of Europe warned Turkey against re-establishing the death penalty on Oct. 30.

"Executing the death penalty is incompatible with membership of the Council of Europe," the 47-member organization, which includes Turkey, tweeted a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government would ask parliament to consider reintroduction.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz added to the Council's warning, denouncing Turkey for considering a move that would "slam the door shut to the European Union."

"The death penalty is a cruel and inhumane form of punishment, which has to be abolished worldwide and stands in clear contradiction to European values," Kurz told the Austrian Press Agency.

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland had in August warned Ankara about reinstating capital punishment, noting that the European Convention on Human Rights, which Turkey has ratified, clearly excluded it.

The Convention, signed in 1983, excludes capital punishment except in time of war or imminent threat of war and a 2002 protocol ended the time-of-war proviso.

Capital punishment soon if parliament approves it, Erdogan tells crowd in Ankara


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his decision to approve the installment of capital punishment if the parliament approves a related code while responding to chantings from the crowd at the opening of a main train station for high-speed trains in the capital city of Ankara on Oct. 29.

"Soon, soon, don't worry," Erdogan said, in response to a group in the crowd chanting "We want death penalty."

"It is soon inshallah," he said.

"Our government will bring this [issue] to the parliament and I believe that it will pass the parliament. I will approve it when it comes to me."

"If sovereignty rests with the nation, the issue is over," he said.

"It doesn't count what the West says but my nation," the president said.

Capital punishment has not been implemented in Turkey since 1984 and it was abolished officially in 2004.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News, October 30, 2016

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