Brandon Bernard, convicted for his involvement within the brutal homicide of two youth ministers in 1999, was executed Thursday night after failed eleventh-hour appeals from felony justice advocates and celebrities, together with Kim Kardashian West, to spare his life.
He was pronounced useless at 9:27 p.m. from a deadly injection on the Federal Correctional Middle in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Brandon Bernard, 40, served greater than 20 years behind bars for his involvement within the kidnapping, theft, and deadly capturing of Todd and Stacie Bagley. His loss of life marks the ninth execution by the federal authorities this 12 months after the method was resumed following a 17-year break.
Along with his final phrases, Bernard spoke to the household of the couple he killed, based on The Associated Press. He stated, “I am sorry. That is the one phrases that I can say that fully seize how I really feel now and the way I felt that day.”
Todd’s mom, Georgia Bagley, told reporters that the apologies of Bernard and the shooter, Christopher Vialva, who was put to loss of life in September, “helped very a lot to heal my coronary heart.” She stated she forgave them.
The execution was the primary in 130 years to be carried out throughout a presidential transition interval. Based on CNN, Bernard, whose crime was dedicated at age 18, can also be the youngest individual within the U.S. to obtain a loss of life sentence in practically 70 years.
Brandon Bernard’s legal professional Robert Owens sought a assessment of the case after the invention of beforehand undisclosed proof. Owens argued that trial prosecutors withheld proof that confirmed Bernard had a low-level place within the gang that dedicated the murders, based on The Indianapolis Star.
Former jurors concerned within the case had come ahead in latest weeks to say that had that proof been offered throughout the trial, it might have had an influence on their resolution, CNN reports.
Angela Moore, the previous federal prosecutor concerned within the case, wrote in November in an op-ed that she believes Bernard shouldn’t be put to loss of life, citing his youth on the time of the homicide and his good conduct whereas in jail.
“I all the time took delight in representing america as a federal prosecutor, and I feel executing Brandon can be a horrible stain on the nation’s honor,” she wrote.
Excessive-powered attorneys Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr and Kardashian West, a actuality star, tried to cease the execution this week. Dershowitz and Starr joined Bernard’s authorized crew on Thursday and submitted a petition with the Supreme Courtroom requesting a delay within the execution for 2 weeks.
The Supreme Courtroom denied the request.
Kardashian West was utilizing her platform to lift consciousness of Bernard’s case. She has been concerned in felony justice advocacy since 2018 when she aided within the launch of Alice Marie Johnson. Johnson was serving a life sentence for a non-violent drug offence earlier than she was pardoned by President Trump.
With out success, Kardashian West additionally appealed to Trump to commute Bernard’s sentence.
In a tweet following his execution, Kardashian West stated of Brandon Bernard: “He was such a reformed individual. So hopeful and constructive till the tip. Extra importantly he’s sorry, so sorry for the damage and ache he has brought on others.”
I’m so tousled proper now.
They killed Brandon.
He was such a reformed individual. So hopeful and constructive till the tip. Extra importantly he’s sorry, so sorry for the damage and ache he has brought on others.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) December 11, 2020
Todd and Stacie Bagley have been on their approach again from a church service in Killeen, Texas, the night time of their homicide on June 21, 1999. They stopped at a comfort retailer the place they got here throughout Bernard and his mates who requested the couple for a experience residence.
As soon as the couple agreed, Vialva produced a gun and ordered them into the trunk of their automobile. The group then drove round for a number of hours making an attempt to make use of the couple’s ATM playing cards and pawn Stacie’s wedding ceremony ring, based on the Justice Department.
The group ultimately pulled off to the aspect of the highway. Vialva received out of the automobile, walked to the trunk, and shot the couple within the head. With the Bagleys nonetheless within the trunk, Brandon Bernard lit the automobile on hearth.
Prosecutors stated throughout the trial that Stacie did not die from the gunshot, however slightly by smoke inhalation. That declare has been challenged by protection attorneys, however the Justice Division nonetheless maintains Stacie died from the hearth.
The White Home plans to hold out four more federal executions earlier than Trump leaves workplace in January, making a complete of 13 for the reason that course of resumed over the summer time.
One other inmate is ready to be executed Friday. Alfred Bourgeois is scheduled to be put to loss of life for the torture and homicide of this two-year-old daughter in 2002.