The US Department of Justice resumed a new wave of federal executions after the election by executing a truck driver from Louisiana who killed his two-year-old daughter in 2002 after a series of abuse, CNN reports.
Alfred Bourgeois, 56, killed his daughter by hitting her head repeatedly against the windows and dashboard of his vehicle. He died at precisely 8:21 p.m. Eastern time at a federal correctional facility in Terre Haute, Indiana.
After gaining custody of his daughter in 2002, Bourgeois repeatedly abused her physically, including whipping her with an electric cord and hitting her with a baseball bat. Prosecutors insist he also abused her sexually.
Her poor toilet training annoyed the Bourgeois. During a trip to Texas, annoyed that his daughter had messed up his truck when she did number two, Bourgeois slammed her head against the truck’s dashboard and windows. She later died of brain-related injuries.
Lawyers for Bourgeois had argued against his execution under the premise that he had a very low IQ that made him intellectually handicapped, thereby deeming him unfit for execution.
Till his very end, Bourgeois offered no apologies for his crimes, insisting that he neither abused his daughter nor killed her. For his final words, he asked God to forgive all those who set him up for the crime, as he did not commit what he was accused of.
Relatives of the girl called Bourgeois a monster in a statement released shortly after his execution. They said justice came late for the family, taking a whopping 18 years for the family to gain closure on the matter.
Bourgeois would be the 10th federal inmate on the death-row to be put to death since the administration of President Donald Trump resumed the death penalty after a lengthy moratorium that lasted more than 17 years. Bourgeois was the second federal inmate to be executed this week. There are more executions planned for January before inauguration day, Nola writes.
President Grover Cleveland was the last president that executed federal inmates to the tune of a double-figure, with as many as 14 executed in 1896.
The latest executions under Trump was also the first time in more than 130 years that federal executions have taken place during a transitional period. Cleveland had carried out executions while he waited to handover to President-elect William McKinley in 1897.
Bourgeois’s execution came in the form of a lethal injection of pentobarbital. He had given his spiritual adviser a thumbs-up gesture shortly after being injected. He took turns in breathing with a little grimace across his face. His stomach started to palpitate, and after about 20 minutes, he was pronounced dead.
One of the lawyers for Bourgeois, Shawn Nolan, told reporters hours before his death that Bourgeois had an excellent disciplinary record while in prison. He was said to have taken up drawing.
The lawyers for Bourgeois argued that Trump was on an execution spree just before he handed over to his successor, thereby denying their client the right to exhaust options available to him under the law. Bourgeois was given just 21 days’ notice prior by the Justice Department prior to his execution. The standard procedure required that he be given 90 days’ notice.
Brandon Bernard had kick-started this week’s execution when he was put to death for his role in the 1999 killing of a couple from Iowa. Bernard and his gangs had kidnapped the couple, Todd and Stacie Bagley, after a robbery operation in Texas. Bernard was 18 years old when he committed his crime.
Kim Kardashian, whose latest passion includes fighting for prison reforms, had joined a host of other advocacy groups to plead that Bernard’s sentence is commuted.