Feds Decline To Seek Death Penalty Against El Paso Walmart Shooter

The Justice Department will not seek the death penalty against the man accused of killing dozens of people in a racially motivated attack at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in 2019.

Federal prosecutors made their position known Tuesday in a brief court filing in the case against the Texas native, who The Daily Wire is not naming in keeping with a policy of depriving mass shooters of undeserved notoriety.

The alleged gunman surrendered to law enforcement nearly a mile away from the Walmart where 23 people were fatally shot and about two dozen others were injured in August 2019. He allegedly confessed to being “the shooter,” according to an arrest affidavit.

The shooter also allegedly told police he planned the attack and drove from Allen, a suburb of Dallas, to the border city of El Paso to target “Mexicans.” In addition, authorities believe he posted a manifesto online that espoused white nationalist and anti-immigrant sentiments, condemning the ”Hispanic invasion” of the state, among other things.

The shooter faces dozens of federal hate crime and firearm charges. He entered a written plea of not guilty to the federal charges in 2020, and now faces up to life in prison in that case. His federal trial is scheduled to start in January 2024, following delays in the court system fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The timing matters. When a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment in the summer of 2020, the Justice Department said the attorney general will decide whether to seek the death penalty “at a later time.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland paused federal executions in the summer of 2021 pending a review of the Justice Department’s policies and procedures after the Trump administration resumed putting inmates to death for the first time in 17 years. President Joe Biden had made it a campaign promise to work toward ending capital punishment on the federal level.

The El Paso Walmart shooter has also pleaded not guilty to state capital murder charges for which he could still face the death penalty. A trial date has not be seen in that case, according to El Paso Matters.

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