Former Louisiana truck driver Alfred Bourgeois was put to death Friday for the brutal murder of his 2-year-old daughter in 2002, after the U.S. The Supreme Court rejected a last-minute bid by his attorneys for clemency.
Shortly after his appeal was denied, Bourgeois was put to death by lethal injection. He was pronounced dead at 8:21 p.m. EST.
His legal team argued Bourgeois was intellectually disabled and that should have made him ineligible for the death penalty under federal law.
Bourgeois was the 10th federal death row inmate to die by lethal injection since July after President Donald Trump ordered Attorney General William Barr to resume federal executions after a 17-year hiatus.
Three more executions are planned before Trump leaves office in January, breaking from a 130-year precedent of pausing executions during a presidential transition.
Bourgeois was the second federal prisoner put to death in the past two days at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.
On Thursday, Brandon Bernard, 40, died by lethal injection after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-minute bid by his attorneys for clemency. Celebrities and advocates sought unsuccessfully to block Bernard’s execution, and foes of the death penalty are expected to gain an ally in the incoming Biden administration.
Bourgeois spent the past 17 years on death row after it took a Texas jury less than two hours to find him guilty and sentenced him to death in March 2004.
According to the Department of Justice, Bourgeois “became enraged and repeatedly slammed the back of her [JG’s] head into the truck’s window and dashboard, killing her” after she tipped over her potty chair in the cab of his tractor-trailer on June 28, 2002, while he was parking.
He was unloading at a naval base in Corpus Christi, Texas, at the time. He was executed federally because the crime occured on the base.
Bourgeois found out a few weeks prior to JG’s death that a paternity test had identified him as her father, the DOJ stated in the release. He was ordered to pay child support to JG’s mother.
Soon after, Bourgeois was granted temporary custody of JG to take her over the road with him and his wife. A month later she was dead.
The DOJ said that while on the trip, “Bourgeois systematically abused and tortured her — including by punching her in the face, whipping her with an electrical cord, and burning the bottom of her foot with a cigarette lighter.”
Bourgeois had been scheduled to be executed on Jan. 13, 2020, “but legal impediments prevented the government from proceeding at that time,” the DOJ said.