In a 6-3 ruling, the heavily Catholic Supreme Court ruled against a stay of execution, flouting Church teaching and allowing the execution of Brandon Bernard, 40, to proceed.
An accomplice to a double murder in 1999, Bernard was killed today in Indiana via lethal injection at 8:27pm CST.
The fatal efforts were, of course, spearheaded by Attorney General Bill Bar, a Catholic who this summer reinstated use of the federal death penalty after nearly two decades of dormancy.
Bernard was the 9th person executed by the Trump-Barr regime, all in the past 6 months—including 4 African-Americans.
While a majority of the jurors at Bernard's trial thereafter came to support a life sentence instead of execution, there is no mechanism in US law for such about-faces to directly change a court ruling or sentence.
One of the lead prosecutors has likewise expressed regret at her decision, given Bernard's rehabilitation and the more recent scientific discoveries made about brain development.
Bernard was 18 years old at the time of the crime.
The trial is also notable for its irregularities, with Associate Justice Sotomayor's 6-page dissent noting that evidence was withheld during the trial that could have changed the outcome.
Alfred Bourgeois, a mentally disabled man who killed his daughter in 2002, is scheduled to be executed by the state tomorrow.
That last time federal executions were in the double digits in a calendar year was 1896.
Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder of Black Catholic Messenger, a priesthood applicant with the Josephites, and a ThM student w/ the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).