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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…

Malaysia: Death row inmate spared the noose thanks to royal pardon

Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah
Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (center)
A man who was sentenced to death for drug trafficking in 2009 has received a 2nd chance at life after Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah granted him a pardon.

Shahrul Izani Suparman, 33, and his family were told of the news a week ago at the Sungai Buloh prison.

His mother, Sapenah Nawawi, 59, who had been working together with Amnesty International Malaysia to save his life, said she was very happy that her son got a second chance.

"I am very grateful to God. I would like to thank His Royal Highness for granting him a pardon and thank you to everyone who has been fighting to save his life," she told a press conference on Monday.

In September 2003, Shahrul Izani, then 19, was arrested during a routine roadblock after being found in possession of 622gm of cannabis.

In December 2009, he was convicted by the Shah Alam High Court for drug trafficking, an offence that carries the mandatory death penalty.

Amnesty International Malaysia took up Shahrul's case, making calls to the Selangor Pardons Board to commute the death sentence.

More than 10,000 signatures from all over the world were collected in an appeals campaign that began in 2015.

Amnesty International Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni said that while this battle was won as a life had been saved, the use of the death penalty continues.

"The secrecy surrounding executions in Malaysia (further) tarnishes our eroding human rights record at the global level.

"Now that the Sultan of Selangor has granted Shahrul's clemency application, we hope that the Federal Government will exercise its political will and abolish the mandatory death penalty as a 1st step towards total abolition," she said.

Source: thestar.com.my, February 27, 2017

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