Kim Kardashian-West has detailed the final moments of the death row inmate she had pledged to save, Brandon Bernard. Kardashian-West had been working with Bernard’s family and legal team in the lead-up to his scheduled execution, but was unable to appeal his sentence.
Bernard, who was pronounced dead via lethal injection at 9:27 p.m. according to the Associated Press, had spoken to Kardashian-West as he awaited his fate. “I’m so messed up right now,” she wrote on Twitter. “They killed Brandon. He was such a reformed person. So hopeful and positive until the end. More importantly he is sorry, so sorry for the hurt and pain he has caused others.”
Criminal justice reform advocate Kardashian-West had gotten to know Bernard through her involvement in his case, saying he loved to crochet and worked tirelessly with youth during his time in prison. “Just spoke to Brandon for what will likely be the last time. Hardest call I’ve ever had. Brandon, selfless as always, was focused on his family and making sure they are ok. He told me not to cry because our fight isn’t over.”
Brandon Bernard, a 40-year-old father is going to be executed tomorrow by our federal government. Having gotten to know Brandon, I am heartbroken about this execution. I’m calling on @realDonaldTrump to grant Brandon a commutation and allow him to live out his sentence in prison. https://t.co/soccUQFmac
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) December 9, 2020
Kardashian-West had been tweeting furiously in the hours before Bernard’s demise, imploring her followers to continue message outgoing US President Donald Trump and ask him to grant Bernard a commutation with the hashtag #SaveBrandonBernard. The campaign captured the attention of other high-profile celebrities like Bella Hadid, who begged Trump to spare the imprisoned father’s life.
Bernard was convicted at age 19 for crimes related to a double murder and kidnapping in 1999, but wasn’t determined to be the ringleader or the shooter responsible. Kardashian-West argued in another tweet that Bernard had “[hung] out with the wrong crowd” in his youth but was now reformed and deserved mercy. She also noted that the prosecutor of Bernard’s case and five of the jurors now supported his clemency.
#BrandonBernard should not be executed:
1. He was 18 at the time.
2. He was not the shooter.
3. The prosecutor and 5 of the jurors now support clemency.
4. He’s spent decades in prison w/out a write up, helping at risk youth.
5. There’s bipartisan support for his commutation. pic.twitter.com/18GugdtuOs
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) December 10, 2020
Kardashian-West continued to lament Bernard’s loss, before calling for change within the “fucked up” criminal justice system. “I could go on and on about what an amazing person Brandon was. I do know he left this earth feeling supported and loved and at peace,” she wrote. “This just has to change.”