The Trump administration on Thursday carried out its ninth federal execution of the year and the first during a presidential lame-duck period in 130 years, putting to death a Texas street-gang member for his role in the slayings of a religious couple from Iowa more than two decades ago.
Bernard directed his last words to the family of the couple he killed, speaking with striking calm for someone who knew he was about to die. “I’m sorry,” he said, lifting his head and looking at the witness-room windows. “That’s the only words that I can say that completely capture how I feel now and how I felt that day.”
Just spoke to Brandon for what will likely be the last time. Hardest call I’ve ever had. Brandon, selfless as always, was focused on his family and making sure they are ok. He told me not to cry because our fight isn’t over. 😢— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) December 10, 2020
Just before the execution was scheduled, Bernard’s lawyers filed papers with the Supreme Court seeking to halt the execution, but the high court denied the request, clearing the way for the execution to proceed.
Terrible news from the 7th circuit:— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) December 10, 2020
IT IS ORDERED that the Emergency Motion for Stay of Execution Pending Appeal is
This is why judges matter. #SaveBrandonBernard
One of Bernard's co-defendants, Vialva, was executed in September. Prosecutors said Vialva, the oldest of the teens at 19, was the ringleader who shot the Bagleys, as they lay in the trunk before Bernard set the car on fire.
The teenagers approached the Bagleys in the afternoon on June 21, 1999 and asked them for a lift after they stopped at a convenience store — planning all along to rob the couple. After the Bagleys agreed, Vialva pulled a gun and forced them into the trunk.