First in 130 years: US carries out federal execution during a presidential lame-duck period

Edited By: Nikhil Pandey WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Updated: Dec 11, 2020, 10:15 AM(IST)

Brandon Bernard Photograph:( Twitter )

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Brandon Bernard became the ninth federal prisoner put to death under the Trump administration, as he was executed by lethal injection on Thursday night.

The Donald Trump administration executed 40-year-old Brandon Bernard on Thursday, his punishment for acting as an accomplice to a crime when he was 18 years old.

This is the 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 was convicted of murder with co-defendant Christopher Vialva in 2000.
Bernard was killed by lethal injection at 9:27 pm local time on Thursday at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. 

Bernard’s case drew high-profile condemnation, The Washington Post reported. Kim Kardashian West, among others, tweeted about Bernard’s case and shared a petition calling for his death sentence to be commuted to life in prison, the newspaper reported.


Attorneys, congressional representatives and celebrities were among the thousands who were calling for the scheduled execution of Bernard to be stopped.

Four more federal executions, including one Friday, are planned in the weeks before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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