A Black Man is Set to be Executed Thursday and Needs your Help: Op-ed

Brandon Bernard, 40, is currently sitting at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, where he is scheduled to be executed Thursday for a crime that happened in 1999.

Bernard was charged with being an accomplice in the death of a couple. Many believe that his role in their death was done under duress, as he had a gun pointed at him.

One of Bernard’s co-defendant, Christopher Vialva, was executed for his role in the Bagleys’ murder on September 22.

Vialva drove to a remote area on Fort Hood, shot Todd and Stacie Bagley, after pulling a gun on them and forcing them into the trunk of the vehicle.

Bernard was not present for most of the incident. He was not present when they were abducted, most of the carjacking, and did not shoot anyone.

Court records show that Bernard did set the car on fire, but Bernards lawyers argued that it was under duress and after the Bagley’s were shot in the head by Vialva.

Bernard’s attorney’s also argued that up until that point, Brandon never fully comprehended that the Bagleys were not going to be released.

Since Stacey Brownstein, an investigator and federal public defender, has been working on Bernard’s case, four of the five living jurors have since changed their mind and have supported a lesser sentence. The fifth juror remains unopposed to reducing the sentence.

“I didn’t feel comfortable with it, but I did not stand on that conviction when I should have,” Gary McClung, one of the jurors said, “From the testimony, his demeanor during the trial, I just didn’t sense that the intent was ever to kill anyone.”

In November the former prosecutor, Angela Moore, that defended Bernard prison sentence publicly announced that she believes it was a mistake sentencing Bernard to death.

Bernard who has been on lock-down 23 hours a day has never hugged his two daughter and never had the ability to even hold their hand.

His family has only been able to visit once a year and separated by a glass panel. If his sentence was to be commuted, he would be switched to the general population and would be able to see his family more.

Bernard’s behavior in prison is a rare sight to see, as someone that has been there for so long, with zero write-ups. He has proactively reached out to at-risk youth, to make sure they do not follow in the same steps that he has. He has been able to keep himself busy in prison by crocheting and playing the guitar.

America’s Police Problem Media is asking all our readers to reach out to call the Department of Justice at (202) 353-1555 (press 9) and ask for their consideration in lowering his sentence.

We fully believe that over time people can change and if not for the fact that a gun was pointed at Bernard, he would of not set the vehicle on fire.

You can also take action by visiting helpsavebrandon.com/take-action

You can also follow the massive movement calling for change by searching #SaveBrandonBernard on social media.


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