Dear Brandon Bernard,
I am sorry the justice system failed you, I am sorry that you were given unfair treatment. I am sorry that the politics of the current world viewed you for your race and not as a man, a father. I am sorry that the justice system failed to treat your case the same way they would have had you been white.
Brandon I am sorry you became a statistic, a number in the system, just part of a total. I am sorry that in your time of need, the politics weren't in your favor. I am sorry that the new evidence fell on deaf ears as people in office saw you as just part of their legacy. I am sorry you were put through 20 years of not being able to touch your loved ones. I am sorry that your rehabilitation meant nothing to those that could have saved you. I am sorry that you won't be able to see the impact you have left on this broken nation.
When you said you were no longer scared or claustrophobic, it was cause everyone who had heard your story was in the room with you. We lifted you up, put aside religion and race as people came together. We heard your truth, we heard you, Brandon we were with you. We will not forget that your case had new evidence, evidence that proved you were not guilty. While, you admit to your wrong doing, we know it wasn't cause for your death. If you were white, the new evidence would have been enough to stop your execution. But, as the nation watched that appeal get denied, we all knew it was no longer an execution. It was a murder. A sanctioned murder, we will not let this be forgotten. Your story, has already started to draw attention to others like you, others like you who should not be murdered to fit a quota. Your murder is going to inspire new thoughts and change, so don't worry about your family. They got a nation looking after them, we know it will be a long road ahead to ensure another family doesn't go through this.
I am sorry that you were murdered by a broken system that only saw your soul as a number to fill a quota. A system that has failed many before you and will likely end up failing more. A system that passes the judgement based on the color of your skin rather than the facts. The jurors admitted that death was no longer a worthy penalty, but that is the problem with politics. Politics interfere with the Justice System turning things that should stay in court, into leaving behind a quota. You were a victim of that and I am sorry that your hard work to educate youth was forgotten. I am sorry that the Trump Administration didn't see your "Grandma" cell. I am sorry that the Trump Administration didn't see your rehabilitation, nor the youth that you have helped. I am sorry that you never got to hold your babies close and cherish them in your imprisonment. I am sorry that the administration didn't see all the ways you could have been enraged, but weren't. I am sorry that our pleas to the White House were met with uncaring ears. I am sorry that you were given false hope and were made to wait with the nerves. Knowing you didn't deserve to be executed, but being told that against all evidence, you were still going to be.
At 9:27 we wept for you, many held their breathes hoping and praying there would be a last minute call. Many prayed to higher powers, many pleaded with anyone in power who they could get a hold of. You exposed many to the reality of the death penalty, me for example. I used to not fully understand the weight of the death penalty. Until I was calling the White House holding back tears, you were too young to have been given that sentence. Not enough technology existed, you were under the manipulative influence of another. You should not have to be murdered for a crime you were equally a victim of. But your story won't end at 9:27 P.M. on December 10,2020, no it only will continue. You will be remembered.
The Future Generation