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Brandon Bernard - Federal Execution - December 10, 2020 - Page 2
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Thread: Brandon Bernard - Federal Execution - December 10, 2020

  1. #11
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Death Row Inmates Alleging Judge Was 'Impaired' at Trials Lose on Appeal

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has turned down the appeals of two death row inmates who argued their convictions should be overturned because their trials were presided over by a disgraced former federal judge whom they allege was “impaired” during their proceedings.

    Walter Smith, who served as a U.S district judge in Waco for 32 years, was punished by the Fifth Circuit in 2015 after it concluded he made unwanted sexual advances against a female court employee in 1998. The employee also alleged that Smith had been drinking before some of his interactions with her, and that Smith’s court clerk had to cancel his hearings because he had “been in the hospital” and was “not functioning.” Smith retired from the bench in 2016, which allowed him to avoid impeachment and keep his lifetime salary.

    In 2000, Smith presided over the trials of Christopher Andre Vialva and Brandon Bernard, who were convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for killing Todd and Stacie Bagley on federal property during a carjacking, sentences the Fifth Circuit affirmed on direct appeal in 2003.

    Vialva and Bernard both filed subsequent habeas corpus petitions before a district court in 2017, arguing that Smith was unfit to conduct proceedings in their cases because of his “impairments.” The motions also alleged Smith committed numerous errors during their trial and subsequent habeas proceedings, and attached several other documents to their pleadings, including the Fifth Circuit’s order in Smith’s misconduct proceeding, an excerpt of the deposition from the court employee who alleged misconduct against Smith, and a 2017 article from Texas Lawyer detailing Smith’s misconduct proceedings and his decision to retire.

    A district court judge denied Vialva and Bernard’s successive habeas corpus writs for lack of jurisdiction, noting their merit-based arguments had already been decided in the case, and that their alleged procedural defects were simply an attempt to circumvent the limits Congress placed on successive habeas petitions.

    In its recent decision, the Fifth Circuit panel agreed with the district court, and denied Vialva and Bernard habeas corpus review for a second time.

    “Although they purport to attack the integrity of their prior habeas proceedings, Bernard’s and Vialva’s invocation of defective procedure rests substantially on a merits-based challenge. To begin with, evidence from Judge Smith’s misconduct investigation does not credibly implicate the procedural integrity of Bernard’s and Vialva’s prosecutions or subsequent habeas proceedings,” the Fifth Circuit wrote in a per curiam opinion.

    “Evidence that Judge Smith engaged in unrelated misconduct in 1998 or that he neglected certain recusal requirements during the 2014 misconduct investigation does not raise an inference of defects in the habeas proceedings at issue here,” the court concluded. “The allegations offer no evidence—beyond gross speculation—that Judge Smith was, as Bernard and Vialva repeatedly assert, ‘impaired’ or ‘unfit’ to oversee their 2000 trial and subsequent habeas proceedings.”

    Jared Tyler, a Houston attorney who represents Vialva on appeal, and John Robert Carpenter, a Washington lawyer who represents Bernard on appeal, did not return calls for comment.

    Joseph H. Gay Jr., a Western District of Texas assistant U.S. attorney who opposed Vialva and Bernard’s subsequent habeas petitions, declined to comment.

    https://www.law.com/texaslawyer/2018...20180817155525
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  2. #12
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    In today's orders, the United States Supreme Court declined to review Bernard's petition for certiorari.

    Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    Case Numbers: (18-70008)
    Decision Date: September 14, 2018

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/search....c/18-6992.html

  3. #13
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    Execution Scheduled for Codefendant

    Department of Justice
    Office of Public Affairs

    Christopher Andre Vialva murdered youth ministers Todd and Stacie Bagley in 1999. While stopping to use a payphone in Killeen, Texas, Todd Bagley agreed to give a ride to Vialva and two of his accomplices. In the victims’ car, Vialva pulled out a gun, forced the Bagleys into the trunk, and drove the vehicle for several hours, stopping at ATMs to withdraw money from the couple’s bank account and trying to pawn Stacie Bagley’s wedding ring. While locked in the trunk, the couple spoke with their abductors about God and pleaded for their lives. Vialva eventually parked at a remote site on the Fort Hood, Texas, military reservation, where an accomplice doused the car with lighter fluid as the couple sang and prayed. Vialva then shot Todd Bagley in the head, killing him instantly, and shot Stacie Bagley in the face, knocking her unconscious and leaving her to die of smoke inhalation after an accomplice set the car on fire.

    In June 2000, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas found Vialva guilty of, among other offenses, two counts of murder within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States and unanimously recommended two death sentences. His convictions and sentences were affirmed on appeal, and his requests for collateral relief were rejected by every court that considered them. Vialva’s execution is scheduled for Sept. 24, 2020.

    https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/execu...ederal-inmates
    Judicial Review isn't in the Constitution.

  4. #14
    Senior Member CnCP Addict Bobsicles's Avatar
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    The Fifth Circuit has denied Bernard’s motion to file a successive habeas petition.

    https://law.justia.com/cases/federal...020-09-10.html
    I believe in the death penalty

    ~James Dobson

  5. #15
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    The panel was made up of Senior Judge Higginbotham (Reagan), Judge Jones (Reagan) and Judge Dennis (Clinton).

  6. #16
    Senior Member CnCP Addict Bobsicles's Avatar
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    Bernard has received an execution date of December 10, 2020

    Execution scheduled for two federal inmates convicted of heinous murders

    Attorney General William P. Barr today directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule the executions of two federal death-row inmates, both of whom were convicted of especially heinous murders at least 13 years ago.

    Lisa Montgomery fatally strangled a pregnant woman, Bobbie Jo Stinnett, cut open her body, and kidnapped her baby. In December 2004, as part of a premeditated murder-kidnap scheme, Montgomery drove from her home in Kansas to Stinnett’s home in Missouri, purportedly to purchase a puppy. Once inside the residence, Montgomery attacked and strangled Stinnett—who was eight months pregnant—until the victim lost consciousness. Using a kitchen knife, Montgomery then cut into Stinnett’s abdomen, causing her to regain consciousness. A struggle ensued, and Montgomery strangled Stinnett to death. Montgomery then removed the baby from Stinnett’s body, took the baby with her, and attempted to pass it off as her own. Montgomery subsequently confessed to murdering Stinnett and abducting her child. In October 2007, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri found Montgomery guilty of federal kidnapping resulting in death, and unanimously recommended a death sentence, which the court imposed. Her conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal, and her request for collateral relief was rejected by every court that considered it. Montgomery is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on December 8, 2020, at U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana.

    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. In June 2000, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas found Bernard guilty of, among other offenses, two counts of murder within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, and unanimously recommended a death sentence. His conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal, and his request for collateral relief was rejected by every court that considered it. Bernard is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on December 10, 2020, at U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana. One of his accomplices, Christopher Vialva, was executed for his role in the Bagleys’ murder on September 22, 2020.

    https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/execu...einous-murders
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    Last edited by Bobsicles; 10-16-2020 at 06:26 PM.
    I believe in the death penalty

    ~James Dobson

  7. #17
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    I like how Barr did this. Executing his partner in crime in Sept. and now scheduling an execution for Bernard. This will bring closure to the family.
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  8. #18
    Senior Member Frequent Poster Ted's Avatar
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    I wonder if Barr went for Vialva and then Bernard to attract more Christian voters to Trump? Yknow, given the victims were youth ministers.
    Violence and death seem to be the only answers that people understand.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Frequent Poster Shep3's Avatar
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    Call me naive but I don’t think anything here is politics I think Barr genuinely cares about getting justice and is picking cases he thinks are the most horrific

  10. #20
    Senior Member Frequent Poster Ted's Avatar
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    Perhaps. I'd like to think so.
    Violence and death seem to be the only answers that people understand.

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