Three More Federal Executions in 2020
Over the weekend, two more federal executions were scheduled this year. So far, the total scheduled federal executions for this year stands at three. If successful, the U.S. Government under the Trump Administration, is set to commit ten federal executions in the span of six months. Scheduled executions are for: Orlando Hall (Nov. 19th), Lisa Montgomery (Dec. 8th), and Brandon Bernard (Dec. 10th).
-Orlando Hall was convicted in 1995, along with four others for the murder of 16-year old Lisa Renee. Hall, a Black man, was sentenced to death by an all-white jury, despite serious concerns about racial bias in selecting his jury and incompetent defense. A statement from his lawyer reads, “…only Mr. Hall and Bruce Webster were targeted by the government for a capital prosecution, despite the fact that each of the five defendants played substantial roles in the crime. Instead, each of the other three defendants were given plea deals to terms of years in exchange for testifying against Orlando Hall and Bruce Webster. All three have since completed their prison sentences and have been released from custody. “
Orlando Hall, age 49.
-In 2008, Lisa Montgomery was convicted of killing Bobbie Stinnett, removing Stinnett’s unborn baby, and kidnapping the baby. Montgomery’s lawyer said she still has a severe mental illness, including psychosis, and that she experienced sexual abuse and violence throughout her life. Montgomery’s trial lawyer, Frederick Duchardt, failed to present competent evidence about her history of abuse and severe mental illness. Mr. Duchardt has more clients on federal death row than any other attorney in the United States and was the lawyer for Walter “Arkie” Barton at the time of Walter’s Missouri execution in May 2020. Lisa Montgomery is the only woman on federal death row and will be the first woman executed in the U.S. in nearly 70 years. Only around 2 percent of inmates on death row and 1 percent of those executed are women, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. In April, there were more than 50 women on state and federal death rows, according to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Lisa Montgomery, age 52.
-Brandon Bernard was convicted in 1999 of murdering two youth ministers. He is a co-defendant of Christopher Vialva, who was executed last month for the same crime. Mr. Bernard was 18-years-old at the time of the crime, making him the youngest person sentenced to death from federal death row in 70+ years. A statement from his lawyers read, “Only three things made the death verdict possible. First, the government misled the jury by presenting testimony that falsely suggested that no hierarchy existed within the group of youths who committed the crime, with all being equally culpable while concealing the opinion of its own expert that the group was indeed organized by rank, with Mr. Bernard at its absolute bottom. Second, the jury’s decision was tainted by false “junk science” testimony from a prosecution expert who confidently – but falsely – predicted that Mr. Bernard would be violent in the future. Third, Mr. Bernard’s court-appointed lawyers did not offer forensic medical evidence that would have countered the prosecution’s case against Mr. Bernard, nor provide jurors the available evidence of Mr. Bernard’s excellent prospects for rehabilitation if he were allowed to live out his life in prison.” “Future Dangerousness” theories have long been thrown out as junk science in the modern death penalty era, yet despite this, Mr. Bernard was sentenced to death.
Brandon Bernard, age 40.