Alfred Bourgeois Execution Follows Brandon Bernard As Trump Rushes Through Federal Killings

Alfred Bourgeois is scheduled to be the second of five federal executions that the Trump administration is rushing through before Joe Biden takes office in January.

The 56-year-old Louisiana trucker has spent the last 17 years on death row after murdering his two-year-old daughter, JG, in Texas in 2002.

He is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Friday at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) said Bourgeois "abused, tortured, and beat to death his young daughter."

After a paternity test identified him as the father in the spring of 2002, a court ordered that he pay child support to the mother and Bourgeois took temporary custody of the infant.

While on a long-haul trucking route with the family, Bourgeois was said to have punched the girl in the face, whipped her with an electrical cord and burned the bottom of her foot with a cigarette lighter.

Two months later, in July 2002, Bourgeois arrived at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station for a delivery. The DoJ said that while Bourgeois was backing his truck up to a loading dock, his daughter tipped over her training potty. He became angry and repeatedly slammed the back of her head into the truck's window and dashboard, killing her.

After a two-week trial in 2004, the jury found Bourgeois guilty of murder. The court heard there was also evidence of sexual abuse. It was unanimously recommended that he receive a death sentence and his conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal.

He had been due to be executed in January 2020 but legal challenges prevented that from going ahead.

Lawyers for Bourgeois argue their client has intellectual disabilities and therefore can't understand his punishments, referencing the Eighth Amendment, which bans executing people with such impairments as cruel and usual punishment.

"Mr Bourgeois is a person with intellectual disability, and both the Constitution and the plain language of the Federal Death Penalty Act bar his execution," said defense attorney Victor J. Abreau.

"The jury that sentenced Mr. Bourgeois to death never learned that he was a person with intellectual disability because his trial lawyers did not present the evidence that was available to them."

His execution is one of two that has been scheduled at the Indiana jail this week.

On Thursday, Brandon Bernard was killed by lethal injection—the first of five executions planned for the final weeks of Donald Trump's presidency. His impending death—the first during a presidential lame-duck period in 130 years—had triggered a nationwide campaign for clemency.

Bernard's execution was the ninth federal execution since July, when Trump ended a 17-year hiatus in federal executions. Bourgeois would be the tenth.

After Bourgeois, the remaining three inmates due to be executed before Trump leaves office are: Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row, who is scheduled to die on January 12 for the 2007 kidnapping and killing of Bobbie Jo Stinnett; Corey Johnson, who is scheduled to be executed on January 14 for his part in multiple murders as part of a drug gang; and Dustin Higgs, whose execution is set for January 15 for his role in the murders of three people.

Southern Ohio Correctional Facility
A view of the death chamber from the witness room at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility shows an electric chair and gurney August 29, 2001 in Lucasville, Ohio. Five executions have been scheduled for Trump's last weeks in office. Mike Simons/Getty Images

Lawyers for Montgomery said she suffers from severe mental illness and the devastating impacts of trauma and abuse she suffered as a child, including being sexually trafficked.

Johnson's attorneys said there was "compelling evidence demonstrating his intellectual disability" but that no jury or court has ever listened to the evidence at a hearing to decide if that is true.

And the attorney for Higgs has argued that his client did not kill anyone and should not be executed. "All witnesses agree that the sole shooter was Mr Higg's co-defendant, Willis Haynes, who was tried separately and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release," lawyer Shawn Nolan said.

"It would be arbitrary and inequitable to punish Mr Higgs more severely than the person who committed the murders. Although compelling evidence was available at time of the trial and would have supported a plea for life, the jury that sentenced Mr Higgs to death did not hear all of the mitigating information."