American Federal Prosecutors announced that they will seek the death penalty against a white terro.rist who killed 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket on Friday Jan. 12.
The white supremacist, Payton Gendron, is currently serving a lifetime sentence in prison with no parole after he pleaded guilty “of murder and hate-motivated domestic terrorism in the 2022 attack.”
The State of New York does not have capital punishment, however, the Justice Department could choose to seek the death penalty in a separate federal hate crimes case. Gendron had vowed to plead guilty if prosecutors would not consider the death penalty.
This would be the first time that President Joe Biden’s Justice Department has authorized a possibility of the death penalty.
Gendron drove for 200 miles from his home Conklin, New York, to a supermarket in Buffalo’s predominantly Black East Side neighborhood. He then shot eight supermarket customers, the store security guard and even a church deacon whose role was to drive shoppers to and from the store with their groceries. Three people were further injured but reportedly survived.
Trini Ross, the U.S. attorney for western New York, suggested that Gendron sought to maximize the number of Black victims after assessing the location of the crime.
Federal death penalty cases have significantly reduced since Biden’s presidency, who claims to oppose capital punishment.
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