USA: CHRISTOPHER ANDRE VIALVA EXECUTED IN FEDERAL PRISON
September 28, 2020:
Christopher Andre Vialva Was Executed In Federal Prison on September 24, 2020. Â (Sources: NYT, Indystar.com, 24/09/2020)
Vialva, now 40, Black, was pronounced dead at 6:46 p.m. Eastern, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Vialva was sentenced to death in 2000 in Waco’s federal district court, for the June 20, 1999 murders of Iowa pastor Todd Bagley (26) and his wife Stacey Bagley (28). Vialva, then 19, and co-defendant Brandon Bernard, then 18, were convicted of carjacking, slaying and robbery of the Iowa couple who was visiting Texas, and that day was on its way home from church, according to court records. The two were tried in federal court because the murders happened on Fort Hood. Vialva and Bernard were members of a street gang in Killeen, Texas, when he abducted and murdered the Bagleys. The couple was kept in the trunk while the young men tried to pull money from the victims’ bank accounts and pawn a wedding ring. Eventually, Vialva shot both of the victims in the head while they were in the trunk, and Bernard set the car on fire, the records state.
Vialva and Bernard were tried in federal court because the murders took place on a military base. 18-year-old Brandon Bernard also received a death sentence, although no execution date has been set for him.
The others, all younger than 18, received prison terms.
After his conviction, Mr. Vialva converted to Messianic Judaism. In a YouTube video this month, Mr. Vialva, wearing a white skullcap and prayer shawl, pleaded with the American public to rethink the death penalty. “I am not making this plea as an innocent man, but I am a changed and redeemed man,” he said. “I committed a great wrong when I was a lost kid and took two precious lives from this world.”
The seven federal executions carried out since July have come as Mr. Trump has campaigned for a second term by casting himself as a defender of “law and order” against Democrats, whom he accuses of giving license to violent anarchists and criminals. Mr. Trump has long been an enthusiastic supporter of the death penalty. In 1989, he placed full-page advertisements in four New York City newspapers, including The New York Times, calling for New York State to adopt the death penalty in response to the case of the Central Park Five, the five Black and Latino teenagers wrongly convicted of the rape and beating of a jogger in Central Park.
Vialva becomes the 7th person executed this year by the federal system, the 10th executed by the Federal Government since it resumed executions in 2001, the 14th person executed this year in the US, and the n° 1,526 since the US reintroduced the death penalty in 1976 and resumed executions in 1977.