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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…

Israeli Ministers Call for Death Penalty for Halamish Terrorist

Halamish, Samaria, Israel
Halamish, Samaria, Israel
In the opposition, MK Shelly Yacimovich (Zionist Union) said the ministers’ calls for death penalty are an attempt to replace decision-making.

Several ministers in the Security Cabinet called for the terrorist who massacred a family Friday night to be executed ahead of Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

Military courts can sentence someone to death, though the option has not been used since 1962, when senior Nazi Adolf Eichmann was hanged after being convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity.

The ministers called for the death penalty after 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist Omar al-Abed entered a home in Halamish, in Samaria, and began stabbing members of the Salomon family, who were having Shabbat dinner. He murdered Yosef Salomon, 70, and his children Chaya, 46, and Elad, 36, who was celebrating the birth of his fifth child. He also severely injured Yosef’s wife Tovah, who remains hospitalized. Elad’s wife was able to hide together with her five children, saving their lives. An IDF soldier who lives nearby shot al-Abed before he was able to continue the massacre.

“The option of the death penalty exists in military courts,” Education Minister Naftali Bennett said. “There is no need for legislation; just to ask. I call on the military prosecution to demand the death penalty for the terrorist that killed the Salomon family.”

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, also of Bayit Yehudi, took to twitter to say that “the murderers of children and families deserve the death penalty. This punishment exists in the military courts if there is consensus among the judges. This is a case that requires the death penalty for the murderer.”

Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz made similar comments on Saturday night, saying that he plans to bring up the demand in the cabinet meeting, and that the Attorney-General said that the death penalty is a possibility if it is the Security Cabinet’s position.

“The beastly man who murdered three family members should get the death penalty. If it weren’t for the resourcefulness of the soldier who shot him, he would have murdered more…It’s time to implement the policy,” of allowing death sentences in a military court, Katz stated.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a meeting of Likud ministers that they should behave responsibly.

“Since the beginning of the events,” Netanyahu said of the wave of violence that began with Israeli Arabs killing three Israeli policemen last Friday, “I held a series of meetings and evaluations of the situation with all the security forces, including those in the field. We are getting an up-to-date picture of the situation and recommendations of how to act, and we are acting in accordance with them.

“We are managing this calmly, decisively and responsibly, and we will continue to do that to protect security. I also expect you to behave with the necessary responsibility,” the prime minister stated.

Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forrer also called for the death penalty, a policy his party has long touted.

“A similar thing happened to the Fogel family,” when Palestinians massacred five members of a family in their beds in Itamar in 2011, “and the murderers are sitting in prison and enjoying good conditions and continuous funding from the Palesitnian Authority,” Forrer said.

In the opposition, MK Shelly Yacimovich (Zionist Union) said the ministers’ calls for death penalty are an attempt to replace decision-making.

“Any reasonable person knows that it’s not a punishment, because death is exactly what this heinous terrorist hoped for, and that the call will not be implemented and will remain a populist call for revenge,” she stated. “It is unfortunate and disconcerting that cabinet ministers have decided to protect the prime minister from his right for political reasons, instead of dealing with solutions that will prevent murderous and shocking terrorist attacks like the one on Friday night.”

Source: Jerusalem Post, Lahav Harkov, July 23, 2017


Minister calls for death penalty for Halamish killer


Yirael Katz says Israel already has legislation in place that would allow a military court to impose the measure

Israel's intelligence minister said Saturday that he would push for the death penalty for the 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist who stabbed to death 3 Israelis as they celebrated their Sabbath meal.

Yisrael Katz said that Israel's military court system already had statutes in place for the death penalty in cases like this.

"We need to use the option that we have in military rule and I call on the military prosecutor to demand the death penalty," Katz told Channel 2 TV.

In Israel, the death penalty is applicable only in limited circumstances, and has only been carried out once, in 1962, against the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of the Final Solution.

But Katz said it was permissible under existing military law that applies to Palestinians in the West Bank.

"There was recent discussion and the attorney general said it is a possibility. I think that the security establishment should aim for this," he said, adding that he would push for this in cabinet meetings.

The Knesset has several times rejected legislation that would apply the death penalty to Palestinian terrorists.

On Friday evening, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed, from a nearby village, burst in to the Salomon family's house at the Halamish settlement armed with a large knife and stabbed to death Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya Salomon, 46, and son Elad Salomon, 36. Yosef's wife Tova, 68, was seriously hurt.

A neighbor, who serves in an elite IDF unit, heard the cries and rushed over, shooting and wounding the terrorist through the window of the house. On Saturday afternoon Abed was released from hospital and handed over to the security services for questioning.

The army said it appeared Abed had posted a Facebook post detailing his intention as he walked toward the community. Before crossing the fence, he apparently performed some type of purification ritual, anticipating he would be killed. Empty water bottles and a Quran were found at the site.

In initial questioning, Abed said he bought the knife 2 days ago, wanting to commit a terror attack because of events surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Upgraded Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount were introduced after 3 Arab Israelis shot dead 2 Israeli police officers on duty there on July 14, using guns they had smuggled into the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Meanwhile IDF forces early Saturday morning raided the home of Abed and arrested his brother.

Troops were searching the village of Kaubar for weaponry and suspects. They also mapped the Abed's family home in preparation for its likely demolition. An army official told Ynet the 19-year-old terrorist's parents were known to be affiliated with the Hamas terror group. Hamas hailed the attack late Friday as "heroic."

Source: The Times of Israel, July 23, 2017

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