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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…

Erdogan: Turkey can hold referendum on death penalty

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey could hold a referendum on reinstating the death penalty, if parliament fails to pass such a measure.

Erdogan made the comment on Friday while campaigning for a "yes" vote in a referendum on whether to expand his powers.

Since a failed coup in July, Erdogan has frequently told supporters who call for the death penalty at his rallies that he would sign off on any parliamentary vote to restore capital punishment.

On Friday, he went a step further, saying a referendum could be held if parliament fails to reinstate it.

Turkey abolished the death penalty more than a decade ago. European leaders say talks on Turkey's bid to join the EU would end if Ankara restores the death penalty.

Source: Associated Press, February 24, 2017

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