The Trump Administration has subsequently capped what is considered the deadliest spurge of executions in modern history. After snapping the 17-year suspension of federal executions in July of 2020. 10-federal inmates have been executed under President Trump. With two more scheduled before he leaves office.
Brandon Bernard, a 40-year-old African American male, is one of the most recent inmates to be put to death by lethal injection. Bernard had served 20-years in prison. Due to his 1999 conviction for the murder of Todd and Stacie Bagley.
Despite the support from prison reform advocate Kim Kardashian. And a petition to commute Bernard’s death penalty to life in prison. Brandon Bernard was executed on December 10. At the Federal Corrections Center in Terre Haute, Indiana.
“Brandon Bernard should be alive today,” Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted. “We must end all abolish the death penalty. The federal government should not be involved in premeditated murder.”
Bernard was sentenced to death when he was 18-years-old, making him the youngest person in the U.S to receive the death penalty in over 30 years. Bernard’s execution also breaks a 130-year tradition. That stops federal executions during the transition of power between U.S. presidents.
The Justice Department will have conducted 12-federal executions by the end of the year. All within the last six months. With four coming in Trumps’ final month as President. More than any other president in the previous two centuries.
“No president has ever carried out so many federal executions. In such a short time,” says Robert Dunham, the executive director of The Death Penalty Information Center.
Former United States Attorney General William Barr insisted the DOJ is merely upholding the country’s rule of law. “The Department of Justice upholds the rule of law,” Barr says. “We owe it to the family of the victims. We must uphold the sentence imposed by our justice system. If we ask juries to impose it, then we should carry it out.”
Several members of Congress have called on President-Elect Joe Biden to end federal executions. “You can stop all federal executions. With the stroke of your pen,” a congressional letter addressed to the Biden reads. “We urge you to sign an executive order. Place a moratorium on the country’s use of the death penalty.”
A Biden’s spokesperson says that the president-elect “opposes the death penalty now and in the future. And as President, he would work to end its use.”
Ali is a freelance writer within the Black and Hip-Hop culture with featured articles in multiple publications. Follow his Instagram @Choose_Wisey2.