fbpx
Eco Atlantic Acquires Additional Participating Interest in Block 3B/4B Offshore South AfricaRead more Cellulant Recognised as a Leading Payment Platform Solutions Provider in Nigeria for its Tingg PlatformRead more Binance Signs Cristiano Ronaldo for Exclusive PartnershipRead more Human Rights Volunteer Roles to Return for FIFA World Cup QatarRead more White House ‘Social Media Summit’: No Facebook, No Twitter, No Transparency CopyRead more White House ‘Social Media Summit’: No Facebook, No Twitter, No TransparencyRead more White House ‘Social Media Summit’: No Facebook, No Twitter, No TransparencyRead more White House ‘Social Media Summit’: No Facebook, No Twitter, No TransparencyRead more White House ‘Social Media Summit’: No Facebook, No Twitter, No TransparencyRead more White House ‘Social Media Summit’: No Facebook, No Twitter, No TransparencyRead more

US executes seventh federal inmate in three months

Print Friendly and PDF

Sep 25, 2020 - 10:08 AM

WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday executed an African-American man sentenced to death for a 1999 double murder, the seventh execution of a federal inmate in three months despite pleas from his lawyers that he was not mentally an adult at the time of the crime.

Christopher Andre Vialva, 40, died by lethal injection at 6:46 pm at the federal prison at Terre Haute, Indiana, the Department of Justice said.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had rejected an appeal made by his lawyers.

He was sentenced to death in 2000 after stealing a young couple’s car in Texas, locking them in the trunk, shooting them and then burning their bodies and the car.

“Despite the very, very heinous nature of the crime that Christopher has been convicted for, it’s my position that based on the science, his brain was not the brain of a fully fledged adult,” Jason Chein, a professor of psychology at Temple University told CNN.

It was the first time in more than 70 years that federal authorities put a teenage offender to death, the Death Penalty Information Center monitoring group said. Vialva was 19 when he committed the crimes.

In the US, crimes are generally judged in states’ courts, while federal courts take up the most serious offenses.

But they rarely hand down death sentences and carry them out even less often. Between 1988 and 2003, only three federal death row inmates were executed, then none for 17 years.

But the administration of President Donald Trump, an advocate of the death penalty who is hoping to win a second term in November’s elections on a law and order platform, decided a year ago to renew federal executions.

After various legal developments, the administration succeeded in resuming federal executions in July, and has now put seven to death, including a Native American whose execution was opposed by the Navajo Nation. The other five condemned men were white.

The death penalty is on the decline in the US, where only a handful of states — particularly in the south — still use it. Twenty-two executions took place in 2019 and 14 since the beginning of 2020, including the seven carried out by federal authorities.

Opinion polls show that support for the death penalty is on the decline among Americans, though it remains strong among Republicans.

LMBCNEWS.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.