Trump Administration and Death Penalty
Trump and his administration have executed 13 prisoners in the span of six months. Out of these majority of the individuals that were sentenced to death were not mentally sane and suffered from severe trauma. Additionally, some of these prisoners were not the lead practitioners in the crime they were being sentenced for. Many of these death row inmates had numerous people fighting for their lives; Including but not limited to social media sharing, celebrity statements, and multiple petitions against them being put to death. Some of the most recent executions included Brandon Bernard, Dustin Higgs, and Lisa Montgomery.
Brandon Bernard was eighteen at the time of the crime he was involved in. He was sentenced to death due to his involvement in the murders of two youth ministers, Todd and Stacie Bagley. Bernard poured lighter fluid on the car containing the couple but did not shoot them. Five jurors and the prosecutor during Brandon’s case later found the death penalty unnecessary and vouched that it was not the best decision. In prison, Bernard had not been a problem and had spent his time doing productive things like helping at-risk youth and had even learned to play the guitar. Despite all of these elements and testimonies fighting to save Brandon’s life, he was executed on December 10th 2020, 21 years after the crime by the Trump Administration.
Dustin Higgs was the last execution carried out by the Trump Administration. Higgs was placed on death row because due to his alleged orders of the murders of three women. He allegedly pressured the shooter into killing them. The shooter was sentenced to life in prison, while Dustin was sentenced to the death penalty for a crime he did not execute. The shooter later claimed that the accusations against Dustin were false. Dustin proclaimed his innocence until he died at 1:23 AM on January 16th 2021. Higgs informed, “I’d like to say I am an innocent man,” and “I did not order the murders.” before he was pronounced dead.
Lisa Montgomery was the first woman to be executed since 1953. She was put on death row for the murder of a pregnant woman. She strangled the woman with a knife and then cut the woman's fetus out of her stomach and kidnapped the fetus. She attempted to pass the baby off as her own but was soon caught and arrested. Montgomery suffers from neurological damage and a serious mental illness. Additionally, Lisa Montgomery was a victim of long-term sexual abuse. When Lisa refused the advances made by her stepfather, he would then bang her head into the concrete. Lisa Montgomery committed a heinous crime while mentally ill and not with a sane mind. She was then executed by the Trump Administration.
Trump and his Administration have carried out numerous executions despite various peoples' efforts and claims. Even during the global pandemic he has managed to take away these people's lives. It is unlikely that these inmates are entirely innocent of their crimes. Still, it seems as if the Trump Administration ignored any opinions countering their own that were trying to spare the lives of death row inmates. People’s lives are in the hands of the Trump Administration, and they showed how they handled them.