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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…

Dylann Roof: Charleston shooter won't offer evidence to spare life

Dylann Roof
Dylann Roof
A white supremacist who killed nine black worshippers in a church in South Carolina will offer no evidence to spare his own life at a hearing.

Dylann Roof told a judge he plans on calling no witnesses when jurors decide next week decide whether he will face life in prison or the death penalty.

Roof, 22, was found guilty on 33 counts, including federal hate crimes, earlier this month.

His 2015 attack, carried out during a Bible study session, shocked the US.

Among his victims were pastors, recent graduates, librarians and coaches.

Roof later told police he wanted to start a race war with his attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, and he was photographed holding the Civil War battle flag, which to many is a symbol of hate.

He is acting as his own lawyer in the final stage of his trial, after dismissing his defence team.

But District Judge Richard Gergel advised Roof to talk to his grandfather, who is a lawyer, and other family members one last time before the trial begins.

Judge Gergel added Roof can change his mind and bring back his attorneys up until opening statements next week.

Serial killer Ted Bundy, Washington-area sniper John Allen Muhammed and Fort Hood attacker Nidal Hasan also acted as their own lawyers, but ended up with death sentences.

According to the Post and Courier, the prosecution has a list of more than 30 possible witnesses to present.

Source: BBC News, december 28, 2016

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