The Department of Justive is seeking the death penalty against the man responsible for the 2022 Buffalo mass shooting.
Genderon has already been sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to multiple charges of murder and attempted murder, according to ABC News.
The state of New York doesn’t have the death penalty, but the federal justice system does.
And it’s going to play a role in Genderon’s next trial.
“The United States of America, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3593(a), notifies the Court and Defendant PAYTON GENDRON that the United States believes the circumstances in Counts 11-20 of the Indictment, Dkt. 6, are such that, in the event of a conviction, a sentence of death is justified,” the filing stated, according to WKBW-TV in Bufflo.
Among those to criticize the decision was Genderon’s federal defense attorney, who said she was “deeply disappointed” by the decision.
“We are deeply disappointed with the Attorney General’s decision to seek the death penalty against our client, who was 18 when he committed this crime and is already serving a life sentence with no chance of parole,” Sonya Zoghlin said in a statement, according to KBWK.
“Rather than a prolonged and traumatic capital prosecution, the efforts of the federal government would be better spent on combatting the forces that facilitated this terrible crime, including easy access to deadly weapons and the failure of social media companies to moderate the hateful rhetoric and images that circulate online.”
BREAKING: The Justice Department has announced it will pursue the death penalty against Buffalo supermarket shooter Payton Gendron, who killed 10 Black people in a racially motivated shooting in New York back in 2022. https://t.co/6Gf67WuYzd pic.twitter.com/l4vSTBTvBv
— ABC News (@ABC) January 12, 2024
An attorney who represents the families of the victims of the massacre revealed that many were also uncomfortable with the decision and warned that it will involve a very long and arduous process.
“Even if it were to bring this to a conclusion via speedy trial, the appellate process will take years to resolve,” attorney Terry Connors explained told WKBW’s Anthoney Reye.
“These cases are litigated always up to the United States Supreme Court because the ultimate death penalty is an issue and that’s why it’s hotly contested throughout every stage.”
Another complicating factor in Genderon’s trial was the fact that he was subject to a mental health evaluation the year before the attack in which he was released and not deemed to be a threat to broader society.
Joe Biden’s Justice Department is seeking the death penalty for Payton Gendron just in time to show black folks that he’s doing something for Black folks to get our votes this election year. pic.twitter.com/RDPlAO85jw
— Zarp (@TheRealZarp) January 12, 2024
You know things are not going well for a political campaign when the president starts writing death warrants to celebrate MLK weekend. Seems a deeply cynical, hypocritical, desperate, and ineffectual move to shore up Black support.https://t.co/sjpnDCtBu3
— Alexander Black (@lexanderblack) January 13, 2024
Regardless of what happens, Genderon, who was 18 at the time of the attack, will be spending the rest of his life behind bars.
In February last year, he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
“There can be no mercy for you, no understanding, no second chances,” Judge Susan Eagan said at the time, according to CBS.
“The damage you have caused is too great and the people you have hurt are too valuable to this community,” she continued. “You will never see the light of day as a free man ever again.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.