– Brandon Bernard –
Brandon Bernard was a federal prisoner convicted of murdering and torching two youth ministers more than two decades ago.
The 40-year-old inmate, who was only 18 at the time of the crime, was executed on December 10 after 20 years on death row.
Who is Brandon Bernard?
Brandon Bernard, a 40-year-old Texas man, was executed on December 10 at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
In 1999, he and a group of teenage boys were involved in the murder of two youth ministers, Todd and Stacie Bagley.
Advocates for Bernard claim that at the time of his conviction, both prosecutors and jurors had an incomplete picture of Bernard and his background.
What did Brandon Bernard do?
Bernard was convicted along with four others in the 1999 murder of Todd and Stacie Bagley in Killen, Texas.
His attorneys claim he did not play a significant role in their murders.
Bernard and his alleged accomplices, all teenage boys at the time, allegedly held the Bagleys at gunpoint and robbed them before shooting them.
They then torched their bodies in the trunk of their car.
Bernard was sentenced to death in 2000 after a federal jury found him guilty of two counts of murder.
When was Brandon Bernard executed?
Bernard was sentenced to death while still a teenager in June 2000.
On December 10, 2020, he was executed by lethal injection and pronounced dead at 9:27 p.m. CT.
On September 22, one of Bernard’s co-defendants, Christopher Vialva, was executed.
At the time of the murders, Vialva was 19 years old.
An attorney for Bernard’s defense asked a judge to postpone his execution because mitigating evidence was not presented to the court during his trial in 2000.
Why did Kim Kardashian campaign to stop Brandon Bernard’s execution?
Kim Kardashian, who has gotten nearly two dozen prisoners released, has asked her 67.7 million followers to support the campaign to stop Bernard’s execution.
On the day of his execution, the reality star admitted that she “lost it” during their last conversation, which took place just hours before he was executed.
In an Instagram story, the lawyer-in-training described the heartbreaking final conversation as the “hardest call I’ve ever had.”
She disclosed Bernard told her that he was offered a sedative to help with his claustrophobia before his execution.
Kim called for criminal justice reform shortly after his death, saying, “our system is so f**ked up.”
Kim advocated for Bernard to be sentenced to life in prison rather than be executed.
“A terrible case has been brought to my attention, and I need your assistance,” she explained.
“First and foremost, I want to say that a terrible crime was committed, and my fight for a stay of execution does not diminish my sympathy for the victims, Todd and Stacie Bagley, and their families.”
“My heart goes out to everyone involved.”
“While Brandon did take part in this crime, his role was minor in comparison to the other teens involved, two of whom are now released from prison.”
After shooting the Bagleys, the gunman turned to Bernard and told him to light the car and help destroy the evidence, according to Kim.
“Brandon thought both were dead, even though Stacie wasn’t, and was afraid for his own life, so he made the terrible decision to comply.”
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Frequently Asked Questions About Brandon Bernard
Because of his crimes and rebellious behavior, he was expelled from several schools and prosecuted in the juvenile criminal justice system. Bernard and four teenaged accomplices robbed, kidnapped, and murdered Todd and Stacie Bagley in 1999.
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The lethal injection causes severe pain and severe respiratory distress with associated sensations of drowning, asphyxiation, panic, and terror in the overwhelming majority of cases, a new report from NPR found.