Revealing Federal Execution Secrets: Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer, requested mercy for Brandon Bernard’s life. This reveals a secret and morally confusing process during the final months of Donald Trump’s presidency amidst federal killings.
Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer with ties to Trump, made an urgent plea to him in December 2020, a day before Brandon Bernard’s scheduled execution for his role in the 1999 killing of Todd and Stacie Bagley when he was 18.
Brandon Bernard, now 40, received a death sentence. Still, Dershowitz argued for a change to life in prison due to his transformation since committing the crime as a teenager. Dershowitz angrily called the White House to change Trump’s mind.
Trump apologized for informing the victims’ families about Bernard’s impending execution. He appeared sincere in wanting to spare Bernard’s life. He insisted it was too late to change direction as the family members were en route to the federal execution site in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Dershowitz pleaded, but Bernard was still executed on time. This highlights the increased secrecy and speed of government executions under Trump.
Only recently have we learned more about their deaths. During this time, the process was kept secret, making it difficult to know what was happening behind the scenes.
The autopsy of Corey Johnson revealed lung oedema during execution. This is a painful condition similar to drowning. Johnson was convicted of the drug-related murder of seven individuals. This info reveals inmates’ final moments’ hardships.
The killing process was unethical, illegal, and happened quickly. Critics argue that mental health issues and other problems of death row inmates should have prevented their execution, given the limited time frame for thorough case examination.
Federal death row prisoners weren’t concerned about Trump’s 2016 win, but the execution drills since 2019 frightened them. Guards moved prisoners as if for execution, creating the illusion of death.
Bill Barr, the attorney general, approved pentobarbital for lethal injections despite potential side effects such as pulmonary oedema. Barr’s book claims he, not Trump, caused these deaths.
Before execution, prisoners were selected mysteriously, with utmost secrecy. Guilt and vulnerability of victims were necessary.
In Brandon Bernard’s case, it showed the vagueness of these factors. Despite the apparent brutality of Todd and Stacie Bagley’s kidnapping and murder, there was disagreement on Bernard’s level of involvement. People disagreed on whether Stacie died from smoke inhalation or the fire, as he allegedly started it while the victims were in the car.
Bernard’s transformation in jail made assessing his potential danger to society difficult. In his 20 years in prison, he became a quiet, polite man who always followed the rules.
Still, the system improved, with each execution requiring up to 300 workers and contractors. The conservative Supreme Court often won battles despite reasons to change their minds.
The prosecution’s lies about the suspects’ criminal histories and mental health issues raised further questions.
Ultimately, everything happened so quickly that there wasn’t much time to think or reconsider. The killings occurred without careful examination of each case’s details. This shows the need for immediate scrutiny of the death penalty system.
Brandon Bernard’s story highlights the system’s flaws and the challenges of maintaining morality within it. It emphasizes the significance of examining death penalty regulations and laws, given the uncertain future of individuals on death row due to political shifts.