On Monday, the newest member of the radical leftist “Squad” in the Democratic Party, Missouri Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush, published an op-ed in Time in which she called for the abolition of capital punishment, writing that the murderers who were executed were “legally tortured by a federal government and a broken criminal-legal system that shouldn’t have the power to force death on any human being.”
Bush, avoiding the grisly details of the crime committed, cited Brandon Bernard, who was executed on December 10 in what she called a “state-sanctioned murder.”
Bush assumed others shared her views, writing, “Like many of you, I waited to see if the Supreme Court of the United States or President Trump would intervene to prevent yet another needless tragedy. They did not. Because the cruelty of this system is the very point.”
Bush did not delineate what Bernard had done to precipitate the situation he was in. Here are details, according to the Department of Justice:
Brandon Bernard and his accomplices brutally murdered two youth ministers, Todd and Stacie Bagley, on a military reservation in 1999. After Todd Bagley agreed to give a ride to several of Bernard’s accomplices, they pointed a gun at him, forced him and Stacie into the trunk of their car, and drove the couple around for hours while attempting to steal their money and pawn Stacie’s wedding ring. While locked in the trunk, the couple spoke with their abductors about God and pleaded for their lives.
The abductors eventually parked on the Fort Hood military reservation, where Bernard and another accomplice doused the car with lighter fluid as the couple, still locked in the trunk, sang and prayed. After Stacie said, “Jesus loves you,” and “Jesus, take care of us,” one of the accomplices shot both Todd and Stacie in the head—killing Todd and knocking Stacie unconscious. Bernard then lit the car on fire, killing Stacie through smoke inhalation. … One of his accomplices, Christopher Vialva, was executed for his role in the Bagleys’ murder on September 22, 2020.
Bush wrote, “For 17 years, federal executions were halted by previous administrations. For 17 years, not one life was taken. But for 17 years, families of those on death row fearfully waited for the moment that has come.”
Time noted in July 2019:
The federal government set execution dates as early as December for five convicted child murderers, including a man who killed a couple and their 8-year-old daughter in 1996 by suffocating them with plastic bags and tying rocks to their bodies before dumping them into an Illinois bayou. In a news release Thursday, Attorney General William Barr called those five inmates the “worst criminals” and said “we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.”
“The fact of the matter is that these death sentences aren’t about justice,” Bush opined before eventually turning to race. “Black and brown people in communities like mine, when arrested are more likely to be convicted and receive harsher sentences than our white counterparts. A justice system that actually hands out justice isn’t as cruel, violent and racially biased as the one we’ve got.”
She concluded, “Ending the death penalty is about justice. It’s about mercy. It’s about putting a stop to this nation’s dark history of lynching and slavery. It’s about making it clear that our government should not have the power to end a life. We must build a fair criminal-legal system on a foundation of mercy, due process and equity. We must break the cycles of death, devastation and trauma that have broken Black and brown communities like mine. President-elect Biden must move beyond just opposing the death penalty. He must end it.”
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