Death Penalty

No Mercy Came for Brandon Bernard and None Will Come Today for Alfred Bourgeois

Bill Barr and Donald Trump spend the end of their terms executing prisoners.

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"I'm sorry," Brandon Bernard said, kicking off a three-minute apologetic speech that would be his final words. "That's the only words I can say that completely capture how I feel now and how I felt that day."

Bernard was executed at 9:27 p.m. Thursday evening at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Iniana, at the age of 40 for a crime he committed when he was 18. In 1999, Bernard, Christian Vialva (who was 19 at the time) and three teen boys carjacked Todd and Stacie Bagley in Killeen, Texas. They drove around with the couple in the trunk until Vialva shot the two of them in the head. Then Bernard set the car on fire with the bodies inside.

It was a brutal crime for which Bernard has spent the past 20 years showing nothing but remorse and serving as a model prisoner on death row. The man has become nothing at all like the likely brutal gangbanger prosecutors portrayed him as to convince jurors to sentence him to death. Subsequently five jurors have reversed their positions and said they wanted his sentence commuted, as did a former prosecutor working on the case.

Vialva was executed in September. The Supreme Court Thursday night declined to intervene in Bernard's case. Three of the justices, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, said they would have granted the application to stay the execution, but they were outvoted. President Donald Trump spent Thursday evening complaining on Twitter about how the presidential election results were fraudulent and insisting that he actually won. He did not grant Bernard's request for a pardon and did not comment publicly on Bernard's execution. He has been silent on all nine federal executions that have taken place since July, when Barr restarted them. According to the Daily Beast, Trump was unmoved by heavy lobbying from the likes of Kim Kardashian, who spoke to Bernard just hours before his execution.

Robert C. Owen and John Carpenter, attorneys for Bernard, put out a statement about their client's death that concluded, "Brandon's execution is a stain on America's criminal justice system. But I pray that even in his death, Brandon will advance his commitment to helping others by moving us closer to a time when this country does not pointlessly and maliciously kill young black men who pose no threat to anyone, when we hold prosecutors to the highest standards of integrity in every case, and when our leaders exercise their moral authority where it is needed."

That Bernard's highly publicized remorse and rehabilitation failed to bring about any mercy from Trump means it's unlikely that Bourgeois' execution will be halted this evening. Bourgeois was convicted of abusing and beating his own 2-year-old daughter to death in 2002 after he lost his temper due to a potty-training accident. He was also convicted of sexually molesting her.

After Bourgeois, whose execution will be the 10th under Trump, there are still three other prisoners the Department of Justice has scheduled for execution before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. Lisa Montgomery, Corey Johnson, and Dustin Hicks are all scheduled to be executed between January 12 and 15, days before Biden will be sworn into office. Biden opposes the death penalty, but has come to this position only recently. Barr's execution spree has not prompted a major public response and Biden's transition team press office did not reply to a request for comment. Defense attorney David Menschel noted on Twitter Thursday night that friends had approached President Barack Obama's administration to commute Bernard's and others' death sentences and were rebuffed.

Last night, Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) briefly outlined on Twitter what libertarian opposition to the death penalty looks like:

The state is not infallible. Justice isn't simple or easy, even when it feels like it (as in Bourgeois' case), and the death penalty is irreversible. Furthermore, as Bernard's case shows, the death penalty is designed to cut off the possibility of rehabilitation. Prosecutors convinced jurors to put Bernard to death by telling them that he was a violent man and that life in prison would actually only harden him and make him worse. In reality, the exact opposite happened.

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  1. They drove around with the couple in the trunk until Vialva shot the two of them in the head. Then Bernard set the car on fire with the bodies inside.

    No mercy.

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      3. He said sorry? Oh, well, I guess that changes everything!

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    2. Shackford the Communist wants election finality but not judicial finality.

      Hate to send unreason staffers off the cliff but Trump won the majority legal vote count in states that matter and will win the 12th Amendment vote. Trump will be President 2021-2025.

      1. I saw a piece on Fox last year about how conservatives were sick and tired of people on the left mocking them as uneducated and gullible. What the hell are people supposed to do? There are grown adults stomping around because Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani promised them that Trump would win even after he had lost. It was nonsense a month ago and nonsense when the Supreme Court baptized it in a painfully obvious, slow, and stupid death. People like you get laughed at because you say such stupid stuff.

        1. Trump obviously won the election, but they were never going to let him continue his presidency.
          Lovecon just had a naïve hope that his country still worked.

          But of course in reality it’s full of people like you.

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        2. uneducated?

          Leftists are the uneducated ones. It may interest you to know that your degree in gender studies actually makes you retarded; it does not actually “educate” you.

    3. A really quick litmus test to separate out poser conservatives from libertarians is the death penalty – libertarians are vehemently opposed to it. A quick scan of the comments here shows the lack of libertarians in this comment section – it’s infested with Trump cultists.

      1. LOL, you are, as always, a hopeless idiot.

      2. So in your mind libertarians are pro murder and against justice? Those would be progressives masquerading as libertarians.

        If you are arguing against the death penalty try not starting with a callous murderer who is only sorry he got caught and doing what he can to limit the consequences. Try not basing your opinion on the counterfactual life that could have been.

      3. Lol. No they aren’t. Cosplay libs are though.

        Murdering people and setting them on fire is a slight violation of the NAP sweetie.

        1. But you know who shares your views? Leftists. They only kill for political reasons.

          1. I think most of these guy’s should probably hang, but I don’t trust cops, bureaucrats, prosecutors or the courts enough to allow the state to kill.

            I’m also scared that having a death penalty will make it easier for the Davos crowd and the left to suppress citizens when they finally have enough power.

            I don’t think what Barr is doing is wrong per se, but I don’t like the potential implications that come with it.

            1. What about Juries?

      4. So groupthink, not individual thought, is a characteristic of libertarianism? And being the independent thinker that you are, you get to define every position, even though you have no idea how people come to a given position by varying paths.

        Just minutes ago, I was trying to come up with a modern example of the No True Scotsman Fallacy, and then you come along. Thanks!

        Serious question… Do you ever get tired of just repeating tropes and talking points? Too bad this site doesn’t allow copy/paste memes, because this has got to be so much harder on you.

        1. There are No True Scotsman fallacies and there are intellectual inconsistencies. And then there are people who lack the critical ability to distinguish between the two. I think he was highlighting the second.

        2. Agreeing to accept a principle in order to belong to an intellectual group is not groupthink, dumbass.

      5. Nothing says ‘libertarianism’ like state-run detention centers full of unprecedented numbers of undesirables.

        Nothing says ‘libertarianism’ like taking a hero like Kyle Rittenhouse to trial for defending himself and private property within the law while allowing his attackers to go free.

        Nothing says ‘libertarianism’ like cheering for “mostly peaceful protests” and for the taxation of marijuana knowing full well that Eric Garner was strangled to death under the premise of tax evasion.

        Nothing says libertarianism like wishing for unicorns and rainbows rather than facing the facts that the people are going to kill people, the state is going to kill people, and people are going to be locked up by the state. The only question is what non-zero ratio each portion is going to be.

      6. No it doesn’t. I am opposed to it but litmus tests (beyond actual litmus tests) are beyond stupid.

        1. beyond actual litmus tests

          Between buffers and pH meters, even actual litmus tests are pretty stupid. Slightly above sticking your fingers in whatever it is and then tasting them.

      7. Thanks, Skippy, for defining for telling us what one has to believe to be a true libertarian.

      8. Fuck off liberal scum. We see through you.

      9. A really quick litmus test to separate out poser conservatives from libertarians is the death penalty…

        No it’s not and just in case you need it (and it seems like you do), please read about the no true Scotsman fallacy.

        Though I would agree a libertarian should be against things like obvious violations of NAP, the death penalty isn’t one.

        PS: I’m mostly anti-death penalty (I say mostly as I would prefer it be outlawed while still firmly believing some assholes have committed such acts of evil they deserve death).

    4. “the tenth under Trump” you write. I thought reason was above this kind of misdirection, that you understood the role of the different levels of government and that you promoted pushing responsibility down to more local levels. Yet you elevate this execution to the federal level.

      1. That’s terrible, practically Hitler.
        Where’s Tony and Chipper to tell us how fascist this is?

      2. Trump brings peace to the Middle East in a single term.

        But I’m waiting until January when Biden is the one awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for some reason…

      3. This is from Wikipedia:

        “There is a small Jewish community in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There is only one known synagogue, in Dubai, which has been open since 2008. The synagogue also welcomes visitors. As of 2019, according to Rabbi Marc Schneier, it is estimated that there are about 150 families to 3,000 Jews who live and worship freely in the UAE.

        The synagogue in Dubai is supported by the UAE, with the appointment of a Minister for Tolerance in 2016. The Ministry of Tolerance led to the creation of the National Tolerance Programme and official recognition of the Jewish community in the UAE.”

        The article in Wikipedia gives sources for this information. So… The upshot is that UAE officially recognized the Jewish community before President Trump took office.

    5. “No Mercy Came for Brandon Bernard and None Will Come Today for Alfred Bourgeois”

      How much mercy came to their victims?

      Note how Bernard gets humanized, but not his victims. His *White* victims.
      #WhiteLivesMatter

      You have to go to foreign news sources to find out anything about the victims.
      https://www.the-sun.com/news/1935693/brandon-bernard-todd-stacie-bagley-texas/

      Who are victims Todd and Stacie Bagley?
      Todd Bagley and Stacie Bagley were Christian youth ministers from Iowa.

      Before moving to Iowa, Todd had been stationed at Fort Hood, where the couple attended Grace Christian Church and worked with the youth group.

      According to Bernard, Stacie’s last words were “Jesus loves you” and “Jesus, take care of us.”

      1. I don’t know why her last words about Jesus are really germane. Brandon wasn’t swayed by Jesus’ teachings any more than those who support the notion of State sponsored killing.

        1. So you’re the arbiter of the teachings of Jesus. You might want to publicly announce that as I’m sure Christians everywhere will flock to you in droves seeking spiritual advice and truths.

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  2. Rest is Power big guy.
    You were a model libertarian and prisoner.

  3. Bill Barr and Donald Trump spend the end of their terms executing prisoners

    Prisoners whose sentences that Obama refused to commute?

    This is not even a both sides issue. This is blaming the wrong people. Damn, Shackford, put down the stick and step away from the lame duck.

    1. Obama was a lame duck from 2012 – 2016.

      1. I think he said he would be more flexible with Russia after his re-election so he’s more like a flaccid penis than a “lame duck”.

        1. Don’t forget the tan suit and “you can keep your doctor” and “56 States”. That’s the sum total. Should I start writing Trump’s patently false claims, or can I save both a few months?

      2. Was he?

        He hamstrung his successor’s administration through sabotage via his loyal bureaucrats and outright fabrication of suspicion to investigate.

        Now, after his people destroyed millions of lives through fraud and fomenting unrest, his handpicked candidates seem poised to seize power, despite Biden trailing multiple people in the primary who otherwise inexplicably dropped out and Harris not generating enough support to even make the first primary. They will be installing all his loyal staffers in their administration.

        It’s beginning to look a lot like dictatorship…

        1. …as the Actual wannabe dictator gets kicked to the curb.

          It’s funny how his supporters come up with these horrible false caricatures of what the Biden administration might, in their most vivid dreams, look like. Meanwhile an utterly incompetent wannabe dictator carries out most of their worst fears. Without a Hannity to tell them what real corruption looks like they can’t even see it. It’s really incredible, actually. Maybe ignorance really is bliss.

  4. Don’t let your kid hang out with bad people

    1. Cool it with the racism, lap83.

    2. Given our current state of affairs; be the bad people your kids hang out with.

      “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws” MLK

    3. Right?
      Then this might happen:

      https://twitter.com/JournosPostLs/status/1337131272569839616?s=19
      “The Day My Son Called Me a Faggot”

      1. Ha ha
        Progressives are amazing things.

  5. Supporters of the death penalty support it because they think it saves innocent lives by deterring murder — not because, as the article above puts it, “the death penalty is designed to cut off the possibility of rehabilitation.”

    They point to several studies that concluded that the death penalty saves lives by deterring murder. As the Associated Press put it in 2007, “Each execution deters an average of 18 murders, according to a 2003 nationwide study by professors at Emory University. (Other studies have estimated the deterred murders per execution at three, five and 14).”

    Deterrence is not the same thing as a desire to prevent rehabilitation.

    1. He turned his life around and got right with God.

      1. Well then he should be thankful we set up an appointment for him with the big man upstairs. Most people gotta spend 80+ years dealing with people before getting the opportunity.

    2. No I support it because it’s justice. Execution is delayed self defense. I don’t care if it doesn’t deter crime if you intentionally take a life you lose your life it’s the only way to balance the scales of justice.

    3. I wonder how much mandatory minimums and/or the progressive nature of punishment and crime increase murder. For example, here in Florida, we have 10-20-life. Whereby possessing a gun during a felony gets you ten years, firing that gun jumps it to 20, and causing great bodily harm, jumps it to 25-life.

      So let’s say in the course of an armed robbery, you accidentally let a round off, or not wanting to actually kill anyone, fire a warning shot to stop a would-be-hero from fighting back. Now this person has at least doubled their potential sentence and might think that leaving no witnesses is the better move.

      1. He will have chosen poorly.

      2. Having no witnesses is always the better move if you’re committing crimes, that doesn’t turn every criminal into a murderer.

        1. No doubt.

          Not sure how, but this comment was meant to be a reply to Hans Bader who cited studies that claim that the death penalty saves lives by preventing murders – as high as 18, or as low as 3, depending the study.

          My assertion was based on if other factors negate those gains. Certainly didn’t mean to imply that it “turns every criminal into a murderer”.

          To try and reestablish my point; I don’t mean to suggest that someone who goes and steals a car stereo will kill anyone who happens upon him as a witness. What I’m suggesting is that when arbitrary lines are crossed (and I consider having a gun and discharging that gun during a crime to be an arbitrary difference) and the difference in punishment doubles, now the incentive to leave no witnesses has greatly increased.

          1. Kidnapping could be another good example and is supposedly the reason behind the famous case in California that inspired the movie “alpha dog” (good movie, btw).

            The kids were looking to get back at a rival by kidnapping his younger brother. When they learned that it carries a mandatory life sentence, that’s when they deemed it better to kill the kid.

            1. It’s no wonder that kidnapping and murder carry such harsh sentences. Cops don’t like competition.

              1. You literally told us 3 days ago to trust institutions in the thread about voter fraud.

                1. Look, government is hopelessly corrupt and incompetent at everything except running elections and screening immigrants, where it’s literally perfect.

                2. I said that false accusations unnecessarily weaken trust in the system, and that your Grand Conspiracy would need too many participants to have nobody come forward.

                  But go ahead and misquote me out of context. Other than outright making stuff up it’s what you do best.

                  1. that your Grand Conspiracy would need too many participants to have nobody come forward.

                    Full sarcasmic. Start with a ridiculous straw man, then fail to even knock that down.

                  2. “your Grand Conspiracy would need too many participants to have nobody come forward”

                    But all cops are bastards…

      3. I think you have a bit too much faith in armed robbers’ future time orientation

    4. I don’t support it as a deterrence, that’s a terrible reason to support it even if it’s rue. The only reason to support it is because, for some crimes, justice demands it.

      1. I don’t follow your position. I thought the point of all punishment was deterrence?

        1. We never have restitution for victims. Never.

        2. More reading, less thinking.

    5. No they don’t. They recognize the complete validity of extreme violations of the NAP.

    6. Supporters support it because they are vindictive people. Some are, some are not. It’s really that simple. Do you believe a person who has committed an act of evil ever deserve clemency? Some people are just hardwired to hate.

    7. I support it because it removes murderers from society. Bonus if it deters others.

  6. He a good boy. He din do nuttin!

    1. He was heading to church before the murders were committed. Afterwards, he went to big Momma’s House to help her grind up some Oxycodone pills. Really a good boy tbh

    2. aspiring rapper bout to get dat college

    3. It was a mostly peaceful kidnapping.

  7. How fucking hilarious would it be if Scott Shackford got fag dragged behind some redneck’s pickup, and the guy got sentenced to death, then had his sentence commuted because he was rehabilitated behind bars.

    1. “fag dragged”?

      You’re not helping your PR position, Beau.

    2. I have a feeling you’d find it hilarious even without the sentencing/commutation bit, because you have severe mental health issues.

    3. Not hilarious at all.

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  9. People support the death penalty because they believe — rightly or wrongly — that it saves lives by deterring murder. That’s true regardless of whether it “cut[s] off” the possibility of rehabilitation.

    Some studies support this view that the death penalty saves innocent lives, and saves lives overall. As the Associated Press noted in 2007, “Each execution deters an average of 18 murders, according to a 2003 nationwide study by professors at Emory University. (Other studies have estimated the deterred murders per execution at three, five and 14).”

    1. They don’t believe that. Especially if the convicted killer is sentenced for life. They want retribution. I wish more people would just admit that. Rationalizing the State taking someone’s life is just that. If you are born to hate, embrace it in the courtroom and on the ballot. If you want to dole out the ultimate punishment, and you know there isn’t a hell to which they might be subject, pull the lever. But for Christ’s sake just admit it.

      1. Yeah. Retribution is good. That’s what all of the criminal justice system is about for the most part. In this country there is little real effort at rehabilitation; prison years are dolled out as retribution. It is a ‘penal’ system after all.
        This guy’s death was way easier than his victims. Perhaps the best argument against the death penalty is that it is way too easy.

  10. Either one innocent? Then don’t ask me to get all that worked up.

    1. Seems like his buddy killed two people. He just burned the car. Libertarians should be against guilt by association, even bad association.

      1. Nothing like destruction of evidence to show your innocence.

        If the two did the carjacking, and he had nothing to do with the murder and attempt to conceal the crime then fine the death penalty would be too much. In this case he chose to become an active participant in the crime so no this is more than simple association.

      2. It’s guilt by assistance, not association. It’s not like they were bowling teammates FFS.

      3. He could have turned his friend in if his intentions were good.

      4. Felony murder. The murder attaches to everyone participating in the felony.

      5. Reason left out a detail of how it went down.

        Stacie didn’t die when she was shot in the head, only knocked unconscious (likely due to a glancing shot). The autopsy determined she actually died from smoke inhalation, caused by the fire set by Brandon.

  11. As Koch / Reason libertarians, our priority is to give our benefactor Charles Koch the largest possible labor force. Usually this involves promoting unlimited, unrestricted immigration, since Mr. Koch prefers to hire people born outside the US.

    On those rare occasions in which he hires the native born, however, Mr. Koch prefers employees with criminal records. That’s why in addition to #OpenTheBorders, we also advocate #EmptyThePrisons. Fortunately we’re only about a month away from the Biden Administration, which will put an end to racist policies like “border enforcement” and “being tough on crime.”

    #EmptyThePrisonsToHelpCharlesKoch

    1. Biden and Harris spent their whole careers being “tough on crime”.

      1. *parts, when it was convenient

      2. And a whole summer bailing out violent leftist militants.

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  13. “Bourgeois was convicted of abusing and beating his own 2-year-old daughter to death in 2002 after he lost his temper due to a potty-training accident. He was also convicted of sexually molesting her.”

    Jumpin’ Jesus on a pogo stick. The weakness of our system is not that a man who did this will be killed by the state. The weakness is that it took so f*%&($g long. NO ONE should be given ANY CHANCE to do something like this twice. And the Big Dirt Nap is the only sure cure.

  14. I thought this article would be about Bourgeois?

    Bourgeois was convicted of abusing and beating his own 2-year-old daughter to death in 2002 after he lost his temper due to a potty-training accident. He was also convicted of sexually molesting her.

    Way to bury the lead, reason. Fuck that guy. I understand your journalistic sleight of hand; Bernard is somewhat sympathetic, as he was just an accomplice to murder, and not the triggerman. Some people on death row are trash, and I don’t feel any remorse seeing them put to the sword. It’s not a question of whether this or that person can be rehabilitated; what has this or that person done to DESERVE rehabilitation?

    1. Shackford was just trying to find a way to get your “aw shucks… poor guy who didn’t do nuthin’ and is self-redeemed” social justice juices flowing, hoping that would flow over to the baby rapist. Even Shackford knows it’s never good to lead with the baby rapist.

      Also, any columnist’s perception of social injustice automatically defaults indict to any Republican in the White House while if it happens during a Democrat watch, it becomes an “also there… but even then, it’s really the fault of the heartless Republican” thing.

  15. abolish the death penalty.

    >>The man has become nothing at all like the likely brutal gangbanger prosecutors portrayed him

    he had opportunity to become a better man *before* the Viking funeral too.

    1. Yep! Everyone has an opportunity every second of his existence to become a become a better man and seek redemption, whether that is sought from God, society, the universe, or just himself. Consequences are a different matter.

  16. Execute the Bourgeois. Make AOC smile.

  17. “Lisa Montgomery…scheduled to be executed”

    Lisa *Kennedy* Montgomery?

    I thought her ratings were doing OK, no need to execute her.

  18. The only reason I have an issue with the death penalty is that we know a lot of people are innocent and wrongly convicted because the legal system is a horrible joke. Well, that and the cost delta between life imprisonment and defending a bunch of pointless appeals.

    Where a guy admits it, there is no concern other than cost. That some piece of shit reformed himself in prison, who cares? Oh, I’m sorry a murdered someone, and I’m a better person now. That’s great that you made some positive changes but unless that resurrects the dead, sayonora.

    There are some actions that you can forgive. And maybe if someone could invent a cure for cancer you can hold your nose for the sake of humanity. But losing out on whatever contributions these “reformed” scumbags might provide is not close to being worth it, morally.

    1. “The only reason I have an issue with the death penalty is that we know a lot of people are innocent and wrongly convicted because the legal system is a horrible joke.”

      Yeah, that actually gives me pause, good point.

    2. “Where a guy admits it, there is no concern other than cost. ”

      Some people make up stories for attention while others are coerced into admitting to things they never did. There’s too much margin for error in the system to give it the power to take life.

      1. Stop talking about stolen Valor false claims on this site.

      2. “Some people make up stories for attention ”

        Finally sarcasmic comments on his area of expertise.

      3. And sometimes, there’s simply no question. Sometimes the guy did it, helped to prove he did it, bragged about doing it, says he’ll do it again if he ever gets out.

    3. Another issue with the death penalty is that we don’t get to decide what merits the penalty. once the government is granted by the people the authority to execute them, the government can now end up using that power for things the average citizen might not approve.

      Bill Clinton signed a bill that allows the federal government to execute drug dealers. I don’t think too many death penalty proponents are imagining the government will murder you for selling stuff.

      1. Yes we do. Laws change all the time. The constitution can as well. We have jurors in every death row decision.

        1. Have you met the average juror? They wouldn’t understand nullification if you explained it to them with a pop-up book.

          1. I would say our over-reliance on jurors is a problem. Not that giving the state carte blanche would be an improvement.

            What we need are robots. Impartial AIs that can parse the law, hand down consistent sentences, and are not emotional. There should be zero emotion in the law. The more heinous the crime, the more eager a (human, emotional) jury becomes to throw the book at the accused.

            And yes, if someone commits a crime, and then keeps committing crimes, they should have escalating charges, including life imprisonment. And baby rapists should be hanged, on live television.

  19. Yeah too bad sounds like a stand up citizen. But I guess all we are going to get is sob stories hookers and TDS. I expected nothing.

  20. “pointlessly and maliciously kill young black men who pose no threat to anyone”

    I guess they have to spread accusations of racism on everything, like ketchup. (paraphrasing Thomas Sowell)

    And sure, I agree that 40 years old (their client’s age) is young – it’s the new 20, believe me!

    But there are some people who still define “young” as meaning under, say, 25 or 30.

    Did the two people he and his buddies killed pose a threat to anyone?

  21. I don’t believe the government should have the power to kill citizens for any reason but it’s also really hard to feel bad at all for these pieces of human garbage.

    1. This. Our justice systems screws up enough that I don’t want them to have this kind of ultimate power. But fuck these people; they made their choices.

    2. So you’re ok with the Columbine and Parkman school shootings?

  22. President Donald Trump spent Thursday evening complaining on Twitter about how the presidential election results were fraudulent and insisting that he actually won. He did not grant Bernard’s request for a pardon and did not comment publicly on Bernard’s execution

    how are these even related? this whole article reads like it was written by a child.

    1. Yep. Note that only 500 people under 25 have died of Covid in the U.S., and someone will say they knew a healthy 27 year old in Canada who died of Covid.

      1. Sarcasmic dated her.

        1. Sidd Finch v2.01
          December.11.2020 at 3:57 pm
          “Some people make up stories for attention ”

          Finally sarcasmic comments on his area of expertise.

      2. Of COVID or with COVID?

    2. only this one?

  23. What I don’t understand is how are these federal justice cases?

    I’m far more concerned about how do the feds get to assert authority in these matters than the issue of whether or not horrible men get executed.

  24. Amash is correct here.

    1. “The death penalty is inhumane.”

      So is taxing citizens to pay for their room and board. There’s no good option for dealing with these people.

      “No government should have this power.”

      Tactical principles. If Amash’s new LARP is anarchism, that would be fine. But he’s a principled something else every 5 minutes.

  25. “Model prisoner on death row” is a hilarious concept.

    I thought murderers deserved their victims’ fate, but then I saw this guy just sit there and not jackoff on a single guard.

    1. He showed up every day, ate his three free meals, slept in his free bed, washed his free clothes with the free laundry service, and never made a peep. He earned the moral right to re-enter civil society.

  26. Scott–article author: So Donald Trump executed this guy, right? I thought the way this all works is that a jury convicted him of Capital Murder, and the judge sentenced him to death. His attorneys also must be guilty because the too “failed” this guy in not winning their appeals, and “executed” him. According to your logic, if the Supreme Court refuses to take up a case from a lower court, or a Governor refuses to entertain pardon, or the President, etc., they are the ones executing the law the results, eh? Not the legislators or……..? Anyway, you have lost this reader.

  27. Iniana

    FFS. Why do I get the impression that Chiago, Los Angles, San Francico, and New Yrk would get caught and corrected?

  28. The headline is unfortunate. It is not about this man receiving mercy, it is about the fact that we should not trust governments to carry out the death penalty flawlessly. And it must be flawless. For his crime he should stay in prison until he dies. No mercy.

  29. They got more mercy than their victims did.

  30. It was a brutal crime for which Bernard has spent the past 20 years showing nothing but remorse and serving as a model prisoner on death row.
    No. Now he is a model prisoner on death row. Good riddance.

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  31. As if there were not bigger stories out there… Reason has to peddle sympathy for people who set a car on fire with victims in the trunk and who beat their potty-training daughters to death. Oh and the awful prison food.

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  33. Biden is quite supportive of the death penalty—as long as it is imposed on the innocent unborn, who cannot vote for him.

  34. Oh no.

    Anyway, a murderer got justice.

  35. Show them the same mercy they showed their victims. Seems fair to me.

  36. “It was a brutal crime for which Bernard has spent the past 20 years showing nothing but remorse and serving as a model prisoner on death row. ”

    So, just to be clear on the “showing nothing but remorse”: Did he plead guilty at trial? Did he ever appeal seeking to reverse his conviction (as well as the sentencing)?

  37. It is a travesty of justice that these men lived so long after sentencing. A mercy they did not grant their victims.
    Conviction, sentencing, and then give them a week to make peace with their Maker.
    And done
    That’s justice, and more mercy than they showed their victims

  38. In CA we have not had any executions for many years. Even the rapist/murderer of 12 yr. old Polly Klass is still alive.

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