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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…

Richard Branson: America uncivilized for employing the death penalty

Richard Branson
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has branded the U.S. as uncivilized for still using the death penalty.

Speaking at the "Virgin Disruptors" event in London on Monday, the billionaire entrepreneur said he was travelling to America this week to campaign against the death penalty, ahead of a referendum in California next month, which could see the end of the punishment in the state.

"America...you can't really be a civilized nation if you are still employing the death penalty. Europe got rid of it 70 years ago and I would say Europe is now civilized. America has got to rid themselves of it," Branson said.

The billionaire was speaking on stage about "purpose" while doing business. He said that an entrepreneur's business is "changing the world", and with that comes wealth which brings responsibility. Branson urged business people to take on the world's major issues.

"If we can get every single business in the world to take that attitude, we can get on top of almost every problem in this world," he said.

It's not the 1st time Branson has spoken out against the death penalty. He has written numerous blog posts on the topic and earlier this year, began a campaign called #DeathPenaltyFail, a series of short films to cast light on the punishment system in the U.S.

Branson also highlighted the persecution of homosexuals in Uganda, and Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, in which hundreds of people have been killed for taking illegal substances. He said public figures should take an active role in campaigning against these acts.

"We've got to use our influence to try to try to speak out and try to bring some decency to countries," Branson said.

Source: cnbc.com, October 3, 2016

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