After 17 years without a federal execution, the Trump administration has executed nine inmates since July, and plans five more executions before Joe Biden takes office on 20 January.
Biden has pledged to eliminate the death penalty.
On Thursday night, Brandon Bernard, was executed by lethal injection at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, after the US supreme court rejected a last-minute appeal to stay the execution. Five jurors and a former prosecutor have said they don’t support the death penalty in his case, including two lawyers who defended Trump at his impeachment trial this year in the US Senate and who filed briefs in the supreme court appeal, Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr.
One of his victims mother, Todd Bagley’s mother, Georgia, became emotional when she spoke about the apologies from Bernard before he died and from Vialva, who was executed in September.
“The apology and remorse … helped very much heal my heart,” she said, beginning to cry and then recomposing herself. “I can very much say: I forgive them.”