Federal government executes first black inmate since resuming death penalty
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. government has put the first black inmate to death since the Trump administration resumed federal executions this year after a nearly two-decade pause.
Christopher Vialva, 40, was pronounced dead shortly before 6 p.m. CDT Thursday. He was convicted and sentenced to death in the slaying a religious couple visiting Texas from Iowa when Vialva was 19.
Vialva was the seventh federal execution since July and the second this week. Five of the first six were white, a move critics argue was a political calculation to avoid uproar. The sixth was Navajo.
Vialva’s lawyer, Susan Otto, has said race played a role in landing her client on Death Row in the 1999 killings of Todd and Stacie Bagley, who were white.
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