December 11, 2020 – In Breaking News – AP
Brandon Bernard was executed by the federal government on Thursday at the Federal Correctional Center in Terre Haute, Indiana, according to the Bureau of Prisons.
Bernard, 40, was one of five gang members convicted in Texas of killing Stacie and Todd Bagley — who were youth ministers — in 1999.
The gunman, Christopher Vialva, was executed in September, while the other co-defendants were given lesser sentences.
(Death row inmate Brandon Bernard has been executed by lethal injection at a federal prison in Indiana. Courtesy of CBS New York and YouTube. Posted Dec 10, 2020.)
Bernard was pronounced dead at 9:27 p.m. He was the youngest person in the United States to receive a death sentence in nearly 70 years for a crime committed when he was an adolescent.
Bernard said he had been waiting for his chance to apologize to the family of the Bagleys and his own family for the pain he caused.
“I’m sorry … I wish I could take it all back, but I can’t,” Bernard said to the family of the Bagleys during his three-minute last words. “That’s the only words that I can say that completely capture how I feel now and how I felt that day.”
The Bagley family thanked Trump and the federal government for carrying out the sentence in their statements.
“I pray that Brandon has accepted Christ as his Savior, because if he has, Todd and Stacie will welcome him into Heaven with love and forgiveness,” Charles Woodard wrote on behalf of the Bagley family.
“It has been a very difficult to wait 21 years for the sentence that was imposed by the judge and jury on those who cruelly participated in the destruction of our children, to be finally completed,” Georgia A. Bagley, Todd’s mother,wrote.
“This senseless act of unnecessary evil was premeditated and had many opportunities to be stopped at any time during a 9-hour period. This was torture, as they pleaded for their lives from the trunk of their own car.”
Georgia Bagley spoke to reporters within 30 minutes of the execution and became emotional when she spoke about Bernard’s and Vialva’s apologies.
“The apology and remorse … helped very much heal my heart,” she said, beginning to cry and recompose herself. “I can very much say: I forgive them.”
Bernard’s execution was scheduled this fall by the government. It was the ninth execution since Attorney General William Barr announced restarting federal executions after a 17-year hiatus — a decision that has been fraught with controversy, especially during the global pandemic, and could be halted under President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.
However, that may be too late for the five federal death row inmates scheduled to die before Inauguration Day, January 20.
(Alfred Bourgeois, a 56-year-old Louisiana truck driver, is set to die Friday for killing his 2-year-old daughter by repeatedly slamming her head into a truck’s windows and dashboard. Courtesy of KIII 3 News and YouTube. Posted on Nov 24, 2020.)
Continue reading… US carries out rare execution during presidential transition
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