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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…

Indonesia’s human rights record still poor: Imparsial

The government is still failing to protect and uphold human rights in the country despite a number of laws guaranteeing the rights of all citizens, which according to Jakarta-based human rights watchdog Imparsial is rooted in a lack of focus and commitment.

Imparsial executive director Al Araf said the absence of human rights in the priority programs of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had added to the already long list of challenges to the poor performance in the country’s efforts to equally protect the rights of all people.

“It’s really important for the government to politically commit to making human rights a priority program otherwise we will not see any changes in the future,” Al Araf said in a discussion on Friday.

He said such a lack of political commitment had posed challenges, including political transactions that consequently put aside human rights, a toothless national rights body, which was supposedly a front-line protector of human rights in the country, and unfinished legal reform.

“Jokowi’s administration is no different to those of his predecessors, which failed to prioritize actions to uphold human rights,” Al Araf said, citing current rampant religious intolerance, criminalization of activists, the ongoing use of the death penalty as well as impunity as examples that showed Jokowi was not committed to human rights.

Source: The Jakarta Post, Margareth S. Aritonang, December 10, 2016

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