A man who killed his toddler daughter nearly 20 years ago has become the second US federal inmate to be executed in as many days.
Alfred Bourgeois’ death by lethal injection on Friday comes after Brandon Bernard was put to death on Thursday.
Three more executions are planned before the end of Donald Trump’s presidency on 20 January.
Federal executions had been on pause for 17 years before Mr Trump ordered them to resume earlier this year.
If the remaining executions go ahead, Mr Trump will have overseen the most executions by a US president in more than a century.
They break with an 130-year-old precedent of pausing executions during a presidential transition. President-elect Joe Biden takes office on 20 January.
Mr Biden, who for decades was a fierce proponent of the death penalty as a Delaware senator, has said he will seek to end federal executions once he takes office.
The federal death penalty had not been used since 2003, in part due to concerns about the drugs used in executions.
Courts ruled that Bourgeois had physically and sexually abused his two-year-old daughter before killing her as he passed through Texas while working as a long-haul truck driver.
Prosecutors say he killed her by slamming her head into the car’s window and dashboard after she spilled her training potty in the vehicle while he was parking.
Bourgeois, who was sentenced to death in 2004, was making a delivery to a military base when he killed his daughter so he was tried in a federal court.
His lawyers argued that he had a severe intellectual disability that should have prevented him from being executed.
Brandon Bernard was executed in Indiana after last-minute clemency pleas were rejected by the US Supreme Court.
Bernard, 40, was convicted of murder in 1999 when he was a teenager, and is the youngest offender to be executed by the federal government in nearly 70 years.
The inmates facing execution
- Lisa Montgomery strangled a pregnant woman in Missouri before cutting out and kidnapping the baby in 2004. She is scheduled for execution on 12 January. Her lawyers have said she experienced brain damage from beatings as a child and suffers from serious mental illness. She will be the first woman to face federal execution in the US since 1953.
- Cory Johnson was convicted for the murder of seven people, related to his involvement with the drug trade in Richmond, Virginia. Johnson’s legal team has argued that he suffers from an intellectual disability, related to physical and emotional abuse he experienced as a child. His execution is scheduled for 14 January.
- Dustin John Higgs was convicted in the 1996 kidnapping and murder of three young women in the Washington, DC area. Higgs did not kill any of his victims, but instructed his co-defendant Willis Haynes to do so. Haynes has said in court documents that Higgs did not threaten him, or force him to shoot. Higgs is scheduled for execution on 15 January.