death penalty news----TEXAS
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Rick Halperin
2017-10-13 01:41:13 UTC
Oct. 12


Texas executes man convicted of killing prison guard with shank

Texas executed a man on Thursday convicted of murdering a prison guard in 1999,
after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-minute appeal to spare his life
despite arguments by his lawyers that he was innocent.

Robert Pruett, 38, was put to death by lethal injection at the state’s death
chamber in Huntsville and pronounced dead at 6:46 p.m. (2346 GMT), the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice said. He was the 544th person executed in Texas
since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, the most of
any state. It was Texas' 6th execution this year.

"I've hurt a lot of people and a lot of people have hurt me. I love ya'll so
much. Life don't end here it goes on forever. I've had to learn lessons in life
the hard way. One day there won't be a need to hurt people," Pruett was quoted
as saying in his last statement by the criminal justice department.

About an hour before the scheduled execution, the Supreme Court said it
rejected Pruett's petition. It did not provide a reason.

Pruett, sent to prison as a teenager and serving a 99-year sentence as an
accessory to a murder committed by his father, was convicted of killing prison
guard Daniel Nagle by stabbing him repeatedly with a shank.

The Nagle family said in a statement released by the department: "Though it has
been over 18 years since he was taken from us, we still miss Daniel every day
and the execution will in no way minimize our loss."

Prosecutors said he murdered the corrections officer because Nagle had
reprimanded him for carrying a sandwich into the recreation yard. Torn pieces
of the disciplinary report on Pruett were found near Nagle’s body.

“No witnesses testified they observed the attack, and no physical evidence
connected Robert Pruett to the murder,” Pruett’s lawyers wrote in their
petition to the Supreme Court filed on Tuesday.

They said Pruett, who has maintained his innocence, was convicted on the
unreliable testimony of prison informants and that neither Pruett’s
fingerprints nor DNA material were found on the torn report. Lawyers had also
asked the state to release the shank and Nagle’s clothes for DNA testing after
inconclusive tests took place in 2000.

In a legal filing with the Supreme Court, the state of Texas said: “Pruett has
raised nothing new that casts any doubt on his guilt.”

Pruett becomes the 6th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in Texas
and the 544th overall since the state resumed capital punishment on December 7,

Pruett becomes the 20th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the
USA and the 1462nd overall since the nation resumed executions on January 17,

(sources: Reuters & Rick Halperin)




Executions under Greg Abbott, Jan. 21, 2015-present----25

Executions in Texas: Dec. 7, 1982----present-----543

Abbott#--------scheduled execution date-----name------------Tx. #

26---------Oct. 18-----------------Anthony Shore---------545

27---------Oct. 26-----------------Clinton Young----------546

28---------Nov. 8------------------Ruben Cardenas-------547

29---------Nov. 16-----------------Larry Swearingen-----548

30--------Dec. 14-----------------Juan Castillo-----------549

31--------Jan. 30-----------------William Rayford--------550

(sources: TDCJ & Rick Halperin)
A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law www.washburnlaw.edu

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