A man convicted of killing two people was executed on Thursday, marking the first black inmate put to death since the Trump administration's revival of federal executions this year.
Christopher Vialva, 40, died at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana after receiving a lethal injection. His execution came more than 20 years after he was sentenced to death in the Texas killing of Todd and Stacie Bagley, a white couple who were youth ministers. Vialva was 19 at the time of the crime.
Just hours before his death, Vialva's attorney, Susan Otto, said that race played a central role in the 1999 trial that landed her client on death row. She claimed prosecutors used inflammatory racial stereotypes against Vialva, falsely portraying him as a gang leader to the nearly all-white jury.
In a statement released by his lawyers on Thursday, Vialva expressed regret for what he had done.
"I committed a grave wrong when I was a lost kid and took two precious lives from this world," he said. "Every day, I wish I could right this wrong."
Under the Trump administration, the Justice Department resumed federal executions this year after a 17-year hiatus. Vialva was the seventh inmate to be executed since July and the second this week. Five of the first six were white, while the sixth was Navajo.