Update: Brandon Bernard has been executed tonight.
Brandon Bernard was executed by the federal government on Thursday at the Federal Correctional Center in Indiana, according to a reporthttps://t.co/jDAPx8UiGO— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) December 11, 2020
Kardashian was pleading with Trump to allow him to spend the rest of his life in prison instead.
Bernard is scheduled to be executed Thursday at the US Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana where he is currently being held. A federal judge yesterday denied a request from his lawyers to halt the execution.
“Brandon Bernard, a 40-year-old father is going to be executed tomorrow by our federal government.
Having gotten to know Brandon, I am heartbroken about this execution. I’m calling on @realDonaldTrump to grant Brandon a commutation and allow him to live out his sentence in prison.”
According to the Daily Mail,
Bernard and accomplice Christopher Vialva were sentenced to death in 2000 after a jury found them guilty of carjacking and murdering Todd and Stacie Bagley, married Christian youth ministers from Iowa.
They were among the five members of the local 212 Piru Bloods gang that participated in the killing after the Bagleys attended a church service.
Vialva was executed by lethal injection in September.
Five of the nine surviving jurors submitted sworn affidavits or statements that were included in Bernard’s clemency petition in which they said that Bernard’s lawyers did a poor job defending him.
Bernard’s lawyers say information showing that Bernard was not present when the Bagleys were abducted by Vialva and forced into the trunk of their car.
Later, after Vialva shot the couple in the trunk, Bernard followed Vialva’s orders to set the car on fire.
Last month, Kardashian tweeted condemning Bernard’s crimes but said she didn’t think he deserved to die because of something he did when he was 18.
“First, I want to say that a terrible crime was committed and me fighting for a stay of execution does not take away from the sympathy I have for the victim’s Todd and Stacie Bagley, and their families. My heart breaks for everyone involved.
While Brandon did participate in this crime, his role was minor compared to that of the other teens involved, two of whom are home from prison now.
In fact, Brandon was not a part of the initial carjacking that took place and was stunned when the robbery turned into a homicide with one of the other teens shooting both Todd and Stacie in the head.
The gunman then turned to Brandon, gun still in hand, and told him to light the car Todd and Stacie lay in on fire to destroy the evidence. Brandon believed both were dead, though Stacie was not, and was fearful for his own life, so he made the terrible decision to comply.
At trial Brandon’s attorney fell short by not hiring any experts who could have explained to the jury why Brandon decided to leave the video game store that night or how he had grown up in an abusive home, or how his homeless father had left him searching for protection in the streets.
His trial attorney also failed to tell the jury how remorseful he was or anything about his background. We now know this testimony would have spared his life.
In fact, two jurors who have since stated that had they learned about Brandon’s background or how at just a few months past 18 his brain was still developing, they would NOT have voted for the death penalty.
‘Recently the prosecutor herself- the person who helped put Brandon on death row- has also come forward and asked that his life be spared since he was the least culpable of the five teens involved.
Although all five teens were black, 11 of the 12 jurors were white. This, coupled with the misleading and incomplete information the jury was given, deprived the boys of a fair trial. Instead of being executed, Brandon could live out his sentence in prison.
He has now been on death row for 20+ years with zero disciplinary write ups. He uses his time to reach out to at-risk youth, advising them to not stray from the Lord’s path (or not follow in his teenage footsteps).’
According to court records
Those involved were looking for someone to rob when they found Todd Bagley using a payphone at a store and he agreed to give them a ride in his car.
The Bagleys were on their way home from a Sunday church service while visiting Texas from Iowa In the back seat, Vialva pulled out a gun and ordered Bagley and his wife to get into the car’s trunk.
The teens then stole the Bagley’s money, jewelry and ATM card before locking them in the trunk of the car as they drove around for hours trying to withdraw money from ATMs and seeking to pawn Stacie Bagley’s wedding ring.
The Bagleys pleaded for their lives from the trunk.
The teens eventually pulled to the side of the road and poured lighter fluid inside the car. As they did, the Bagleys sang ‘Jesus loves us’ in the trunk.
Vialva, the oldest of the group, donned a ski mask, opened the trunk and shot the Bagleys in the head.
Prosecutors said at the trial that Stacie was still alive as flames engulfed the car. During the trial, two of the teen co-defendants described Vialva and Bernard as the ringleaders of the grisly crime.
While Vialva and Bernard both received death sentences, the other defendants received lighter sentences.
Bernard’s lawyers have since insisted that he was not in control of the situation and that he wasn’t aware of Vialva’s plans to commit murder.
(via Daily Mail)