Federal Prosecutors to Seek Death Penalty Against Buffalo, New York, Supermarket Gunman, a First for Biden Administration | lovebscott.com

The Justice Department says it will seek the death penalty for the white gunman who killed 10 African Americans in 2022 at grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y., in a racially motivated massacre.

via: CNN

Payton Gendron, 20, is facing several hate crimes and firearms charges in the shooting at the supermarket where he killed 10 Black people. He already is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty last year to New York state terrorism and murder charges. His lawyers had said in court Gendron would be willing to plead guilty to the federal counts if prosecutors agreed not to pursue the death penalty.

Relatives of victims and those injured in the shooting gathered at a Buffalo courthouse Friday morning, where they received the news directly from Justice Department officials ahead of a regularly scheduled status hearing in the afternoon.

“I definitely understand that makes some people happy,” Mark Talley, son of shooting victim Geraldine Talley, said after the meeting with prosecutors. “I’m more of a dark person. If, God willing, I live to 80, he lives to 80, I would have preferred to see him tortured for the rest of his life in prison.”

Mark Talley added, “I’m not necessarily disappointed at the decision … It would have satisfied me more knowing he would have spent the rest of his life in prison being surrounded by the population of people who he tried to kill.”

Simone Crawley, the granddaughter of victim Ruth E. Whitfield, told CNN she has mixed feelings about Gendron the death penalty.

Crawley, who lives in Columbus, Ohio, and didn’t attend the family briefing, said Friday the decision still doesn’t bring her closure.

“It’s something where there is never really an outcome that will measure up to the impact that has happened,” Crawley said.

“It’s difficult because you feel like it’s the highest level of justice but at the same time some people might feel like it’s not as harsh of a reality as having to spend the rest of your life behind bars.”

Pamela Pritchett, whose mother Pearl Young was killed in the shooting, told CNN Friday: “I’d rather have a scar than an open wound. I know with them pursuing the death penalty, that means it’s probably going to be appeal after appeal. And with every appeal, the wound is there.”

Michelle Fryson – niece of Pearl Young and cousin of Margus Morrison, both victims – called the decision “a gut-punch.”

“I was hoping that he would take some time to process things for a very long time,” she said of the gunman.

Gendron’s next court date is February 2.

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