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My name is [name] from [state]. I'm calling on behalf of Pervis Payne, Keith Lamar, and Rocky Myers. I am asking that you commute their unjust death sentence to life without parole. They do not deserve to be executed and can still be punished for their crimes by living out the rest of their lives in prison. Thank you.

Links below listed in alphabetical order by name

Dustin Higgs

Jennifer Jeffley

Lamar Johnson

Keith Lamar

Rocky Myers

What is the death penalty?

Capital punishment is defined as the legal execution of a criminal. The word capital comes from the Latin word for head, and in ancient times, capital punishment was often carried out by beheading. This method has never been used in America. But criminals have been put to death by shooting, hanging, electrocution, poison gas, and lethal injection. Today, all states with the death penalty use lethal injection (Constitutional Rights Foundation).

TermDefinition
Condemned / death rowhas been sentenced to death and is awaiting execution
Capital crimes / capital offenses / capital felonies crimes that are punishable by death
Prosecution lawyers for the state
Motion a formal request made to the judges
Federaldescribing the central government, i.e. the United States government as opposed to the state governments

Click here for more criminal court vocabulary

Click here for timeline of the death penalty

The Trump Administration

Since 1988, only three federal executions had taken place before the Trump administration, all carried out by President George W. Bush.

From 2003 to 2019, there were zero federal executions in the United States (BBC).

In 2019, state executions were at an all-time low. Public favor for the death penalty has dwindled. In a
Gallup poll, 60% of Americans stated that they prefer life imprisonment to capital punishment (Gallup).

The first group of five death row inmates scheduled for execution in December 2019 were all white.

This second group of five death row inmates, in which Brandon Bernard is a part of, consists of four black men and one white woman.

If Trump succeeds in carrying out the remaining executions, he will have executed nearly a quarter of all federal death-row prisoners during his presidency (Independent).

  • December 10th - Brandon Bernard

  • December 11th - Alfred Bourgeois

  • January 12th - Lisa Montgomery

  • January 14th - Cory Johnson

  • January 15th - Dustin Higgs

Summary of each case (CNN):

Brandon Bernard

Brandon Bernard was executed on December 10th by the federal government as the first of five scheduled federal executions to take place before the departure of the Trump administration.

He was the 10th person to be executed at the federal level since the revival of capital punishment announced in July 2019 by Attorney General William Barr.

He was also "the youngest person in the United States in nearly 70 years to be executed by the federal government for a crime committed when he was a teenager" (CNN).

His case gained national attention as people fought for his sentence to be commuted to life.

#BrandonBernard

An archive of tweets calling for the abolition of the death penalty and/or containing additional information.

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