Brandon Bernard and a gavel

On Thursday, Brandon Bernard, 40, became the ninth person put to death by the federal government this year, reports said. He died via lethal injection at a prison in Terra Haute, Indiana.

Bernard was 18 years old when he got involved in the killing of a couple from Iowa, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

A few decades ago, Bernard and four other teenagers abducted and robbed a religious couple, Todd and Stacie Bagley.

Although he did not pull the trigger of the gun that may have killed the couple, he was the one who set the car of the couple on fire.

The Bagley’s, then, are inside the trunk of the car. 

No to Death Penalty

A lot of people, some of them famous, campaigned, and asked the government to stop the execution. In fact, one of Bernard’s champion is the popular reality TV show personality, Kim Kardashian-West. 

West has been educating her followers about Bernard’s situation and has been asking them to help him since November.

Earlier this week, she asked again for people to rally behind Bernard and to implore Trump to save his life. 

On Wednesday, Bernard’s attorney requested a federal appeals court to stop his execution, per NBC News.

Moreover, before Bernard’s death, five jurors and a former prosecutor have all come forward to attest they no longer support the death penalty against him.

Bernard with his family in jail

His Last Words

Bernard’s last words before he took the lethal injection was towards the family of the victims, Todd and Stacie Bagley, and his own family. 

“I’m sorry,” he said. 

According to him, those are the only words that fully capture what he felt when the killing happened and before his death. 

According to AP, Bernard did not show any sign of distress nor fear during his last few hours.

He added, he wanted to say sorry to the victim’s family and his own, which he said he had caused pain. 

Lastly, Bernard said he wishes he could take everything back, but he can’t. 

Justice Served, Says the Victim’s Family

After the execution, the mother of Todd told reporters she’s thankful to the Justice Department, President Donald Trump, and Attorney William Barr. 

According to her, Bernard’s “apology and remorse” helped her heal her heart and forgive them. 

The Bureau of Prisons also released the full statement of Georgia and another one from the victims’ families and friends. 

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