Kim Kardashian urges Donald Trump to pardon death row inmate Brandon Bernard on eve of execution

Brandon Bernard is scheduled to be executed on 10 December

Clémence Michallon
New York City
@Clemence_Mcl
Friday 11 December 2020 11:57
Kim Kardashian West speaks about The Justice Project during the 2020 Winter TCA Tour on 18 January 2020 in Pasadena, California
Kim Kardashian West speaks about The Justice Project during the 2020 Winter TCA Tour on 18 January 2020 in Pasadena, California
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Kim Kardashian West has urged Donald Trump to pardon a death row inmate, on the eve of his planned execution date.

The TV personality and activist shared the plea on social media on Wednesday.

The case she referred to is that of Brandon Bernard, now 40, who was convicted in 2000 of participating in a robbery scheme that ended with the murder of two people when he was 18. 

“Brandon Bernard, a 40-year-old father, is going to be executed tomorrow by our federal government. Having gotten to know Brandon, I am heartbroken about this execution,” Kardashian West tweeted.

“I’m calling on@realDonaldTrumpto grant Brandon a commutation and allow him to live out his sentence in prison.”

The Trump administration has resumed federal executions after a 17-year interruption. The first came in July 2020; seven more have taken place since.

The administration has planned more executions in the lead-up to Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Bernard’s execution is scheduled to take place on 10 December, followed by that of Alfred Bourgeois on 11 December. Another one, of death row inmate Lisa M Montgomery, is set for 12 January 2021. 

Biden has publicly opposed the death penalty and has pledged to work against its use once he takes office.

Attorney General William Barr has told The Associated Press he’s likely to schedule more executions before he leaves the Justice Department.

Those who have advocated on behalf of Bernard have pointed to his age at the time of the events that resulted in his conviction, and have argued that he was an accomplice, rather than the ringleader.

Another man, Christopher Vialva, was executed in September this year after being convicted in the same case.   

He was the first Black inmate to be executed since the Trump administration resumed federal executions.

Advocates for Bernard have asked for a commutation that would spare his life and see him serve a life sentence in prison.

Kardashian West has been a criminal reform advocate and has raised the issue with the Trump White House in the past.