“As he was in the chair his attorney called me and they just had their last call and said this… Brandon said he loves you and wants to say thank you again,” Kardashian West wrote in a Twitter thread.
“Brandon wanted me to tell every single person who worked on his behalf supporting him in any way a huge thank you.”
The reality TV star and criminal justice reform advocate had been lobbying the Trump administration to commute Bernard’s sentence. In the days leading up to his scheduled execution, she posted extensively about the case to her enormous social media following and urged fans to contact the Justice Department and White House to prevent it.
The killing went forward even though 5 of 9 surviving jurors who sentenced Bernard to death 20 years ago no longer supported the sentence. Neither did a former federal prosecutor who had previously defended Bernard’s death sentence on appeal.
Bernard was killed by lethal injection at 9:27 p.m. after a last-minute stay of execution was denied by the Supreme Court, with Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor dissenting.
Bernard, a Black man, was sentenced to death in 2000 by a nearly all-white jury for his role in a robbery plan that led to the deaths of Todd and Stacie Bagley in Texas. Bernard was not present when his friends abducted the Bagleys. Christopher Vialva, the man who shot the victims in the head, was executed in September. Bernard and an accomplice, Terry Brown, poured lighter fluid in the car before it was set on fire.
Prosecutors claimed Bernard was the one who lit fire to the car with the Bagleys inside, although Brown admitted during testimony at trial that he didn’t actually see who lit the fire.
Kardashian West tweeted earlier on Thursday about her final phone call with Bernard.
“Just spoke to Brandon for what will likely be the last time,” she wrote. “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.”
Kardashian West said she also felt for the victims and their families but did not believe Bernard’s death would make things right. She insisted he was rehabilitated and deeply remorseful for his involvement in the crime, which took place when he was 18 years old.
“My heart breaks for everyone involved, including the victims families and in no way am I diminishing the loss their family has been through,” she tweeted two hours before Bernard’s death.
Bernard is the ninth prisoner to be executed after the Trump administration ended a 17-year pause in federal executions in July.