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Trump administration plans 2nd execution in as many days

1 year 9 months 3 weeks ago Friday, December 11 2020 Dec 11, 2020 December 11, 2020 8:47 AM December 11, 2020 in News
Source: Associated Press
The Trump administration to continue its unprecedented series of post-election federal executions Friday with the killing of Alfred Bourgeois at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana; three more executions are planned in January.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — The Trump administration plans to continue its unprecedented series of post-election federal executions Friday by putting to death a Louisiana truck driver who severely abused his 2-year-old daughter for weeks in 2002, then killed her by slamming her head against a truck’s windows and dashboard.

Lawyers for 56-year-old Alfred Bourgeois say he has an IQ that puts him in the intellectually disabled category and they contend that should have made him ineligible for the death penalty under federal law.

Bourgeois would be the 10th federal death-row inmate put to death since federal executions resumed under President Donald Trump in July after a 17-year hiatus. He would be the second person executed this week at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. Three more executions are planned in January.

The series of executions after Election Day, the first in late November, is the first time in over 130 years where federal executions have occurred during a lame-duck period.

Bourgeois’ lawyers contend that the apparent hurry by the Republican president to get executions in before the Jan. 20 inauguration of death-penalty foe Joe Biden, a Democrat, has deprived their client his rights to exhaust his legal options.

Several appeals courts have concluded that neither evidence nor criminal law on intellectual disability support the claims by Bourgeois’ legal team.

On Thursday, Brandon Bernard was put to death for his part in a 1999 killing of a religious couple from Iowa after he and other teenage members of a street gang abducted and robbed Todd and Stacie Bagley in Texas. Bernard, who was 18 at the time of the killings, was a rare execution of a person who was in his teens when his crime was committed.

Several high-profile figures, including reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, appealed to Trump to commute Bernard’s sentence to life in prison, citing, among other things, Bernard’s youth at the time and the remorse he has expressed over years.

In Bourgeois’ case, the crimes stand out as particularly brutal because they involved his young daughter.

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