Comments Off on US executes death row inmate Brandon Bernard after President Trump orders series of executions as he prepares to leave office
Death row inmate Brandon Bernard has been executed in Indiana after last-minute clemency pleas were rejected by the US Supreme Court.
Bernard, 40, was convicted of murder in 1999 when he was a teenager and is the youngest offender to be executed by the US government in nearly 70 years.
He was 18 when he and four other teenagers participated in the murders of Todd and Stacie Bagley, a couple on their way from a Sunday church service in Killeen, Texas in 1999.
Bernard told the family of the couple he killed he was sorry, before dying by lethal injection on Thursday, December 10,
Bernard was killed despite appeals from advocacy groups, jurors, and others after President Donald Trump ordered series of prisoner executions in his final days in office.
Bernard is the ninth federal inmate who has been executed since July when US President Donald Trump lifted a 17-year freeze on federal executions.
Bernard’s case drew the attention of anti-death penalty advocates, as they pleaded for pardon and highlighted several factors including his age when the crime occurred and how race influenced his sentencing.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a nationwide civil rights group, tweeted before Thursday’s execution that “5 of the 9 jurors who sentenced him to die, as well as the appellate prosecutor who pushed for a death sentence, now do not believe he should die”.
“The federal government should not be allowed to kill Brandon Bernard – or anyone. Tonight’s execution should not go forward,” the group said.
Reality star Kim Kardashian has been one of the voices speaking up for Brandon-a move that drew criticism from the family of the deceased victims.
Four more executions are planned before the end of Donald Trump’s presidency.