Alfred Bourgeois systematically abused and tortured his 2-year-old daughter. He committed horrific crimes, punching her in the face, holding her underwater in the ocean, whipping her with an electrical cord, burning her feet with a cigarette lighter, sexually assaulting her, and hitting her in the head so many times that, as he laughed to a fellow inmate, the “baby’s head got as big as a watermelon.”
In July 2002, Bourgeois murdered his daughter by slamming the back of her head into a car four times because she had knocked over her training toilet.
Just over a week ago – nearly two decades after the murder – the Justice Department finally set an execution date for Bourgeois. It also set execution dates for Cory Johnson and Dustin Higgs, each of whom brutally murdered multiple people in cold blood in the 1990s.
The Justice Department’s decision to carry out these lawfully imposed sentences is well overdue, and a testament to Attorney General William Barr’s leadership and belief in the rule of law.
Unlike the Obama-Biden administration, which simply refused to carry out lawful capital punishments, the Trump administration this year carried out eight longstanding death sentences against criminals who committed brutal and horrific murders.
This included the execution in July of Daniel Lewis Lee, an avowed white supremacist who murdered an entire family at their home in Arkansas in 1996. Also executed was Wesley Ira Purkey, who kidnapped, raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl before dismembering and burning her body.
But the Justice Department can and should do more to enforce lawful capital sentences.
There are currently 53 individuals on federal death row. These individuals are among the worst and most violent criminals in the country. They include Dylann Roof, who murdered nine parishioners in a historic African American church in South Carolina.
Many of these murderers were sentenced to death years ago. Nine of them were sentenced over 20 years ago, and 40 were sentenced over a decade ago.
They have so far escaped their sentences only because the Obama-Biden administration refused to enforce the law and the inmates’ lawyers have done everything in their power to manufacture procedural delays.
This justice delayed is justice denied. That’s why the Justice Department should schedule execution dates for every single eligible death row inmate.
I firmly believe in capital punishment. It saves the lives of the innocent by punishing the very worst offenders who have committed unspeakable acts of evil, and it deters future crimes.
There are some people who disagree with that belief. But here’s what they can’t argue with: capital punishment is undisputedly the law. Each inmate on death row was convicted in federal court and sentenced by a jury of his or her peers under laws passed by Congress and signed by the president.
That doesn’t seem to matter to Joe Biden and the Democrats, who would go against the wishes of a majority of Americans and effectively abolish the death penalty by refusing to carry out the law as part of their soft-on-crime agenda.
That is why the left savaged Attorney General Barr last week for scheduling the execution of a man who tortured, sexually assaulted and murdered his own 2-year-old daughter.
But the president – no matter his party – has a constitutional duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This means carrying out lawful sentences even if he disagrees with the underlying law.
Barr’s decision to set execution dates should be applauded for upholding the rule of law, serving justice, deterring crime and helping bring closure to victims’ families. He should continue to set these lawful executions for every remaining eligible death row inmate now.