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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…

Japan: Death penalty to stand for woman convicted of murdering 2 men

Miyuki Ueta
Miyuki Ueta
TOKYO -- The death sentence given to a woman convicted of murdering two men in the western Japan prefecture of Tottori in 2009 is set to be finalized after the Supreme Court upheld lower court rulings Thursday.

The top court said in its ruling that the defendant carried out the premeditated and "cruel crimes based on firm intentions to kill" and she bears "grave criminal responsibility."

According to the lower court rulings, Miyuki Ueta, a 43-year-old former bar worker, drugged truck driver Kazumi Yabe, 47, and drowned him in the sea in April 2009 and she drugged and drowned in a river electronics store owner Hideki Maruyama, 57, in October of the same year.

Ueta, who owed money to both victims, maintained her innocence and the verdicts were based mainly on circumstantial evidence, including that Ueta was the last person to meet with the men before they went missing and she obtained sleeping pills beforehand.

In coming to his decision, judge Koike concluded that Ueta was the last point of contact for both victims; put the victims to sleep with drug-filled concoctions just before their deaths; and committed the crimes to escape from debts.

The defense had argued that it was impossible for Ueta to bring drugged men to the crime scenes herself.

In 2012, Ueta was sentenced to death by the Tottori District Court. Two years later, the Hiroshima High Court rejected an appeal by the defense.

Source: Japan Today, July 27, 2017

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