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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…

Delaware Supreme Court overturns past death penalty convictions

The 12 men on Delaware’s death row will not be executed. Instead, they’ll get life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Delaware Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday that the state cannot go through with executing those on death row after they previously struck down the state’s capital punishment system.

Justices came to that decision in August after the U.S. Supreme Court said any death sentence must be fully in the hands of the jury.

Delaware’s system gave the final say to the presiding judge who weighed any mitigating or aggravating factors in the case after a jury’s vote.

The opinion came just over a week after justices heard the case in Dover, with some openly questioning the state’s argument to move ahead with these executions during the hearing.

Some state lawmakers are vowing to reinstate the death penalty during the next General Assembly, but it’s not clear if they have enough support to push such a measure through.

Governor-elect John Carney said he would “probably” veto such a bill if it got to his desk.

The state Department of Justice didn't immediately return a request for comment.

Source: Delaware Public Media, James Dawson, December 15, 2016

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