US Murderer First in Trump’s Last-Minute Death Row Executions

A CONVICTED double murderer has become the first of five death row inmates the Trump administration want to be executed before the President leaves office.

Brandon Bernard was executed by lethal injection in Terre Haute Federal Prison, Indiana, after a last-minute appeal to delay his death sentence was rejected by the Supreme Court. He is the first of five death row inmates the Trump administration is pushing to be executed before he is replaced by Joe Biden in the Oval Office.

Bernard, 40, was convicted for the 1999 murder of a religious couple in Iowa. His friend shot the pair, while Brandon torched their bodies in the boot of a car. The death sentence he received has since sparked controversy, as it is unclear whether the couple were dead before Bernard lit the flames.

Prosecutors from the 2000 trial have admitted that racial bias may have played a role in the death penalty being given to Bernard, who was a teenager at the time of the crime. A juror on the trial said in 2016 that Bernard’s ”horrible decisions had horrendous outcomes” but that they ”do not believe Brandon should be executed for bad choices he made when he was 18”.

His legal team attempted to buy more time to gather further petitions for his sentence to be commuted, which has been endorsed by Kim Kardashian West among others. Analysts say that Trump’s administration is rushing through the execution of four more prisoners, the first federal executions during a President’s ”lame duck” final days in 130 years.

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...