Conklin, New York Teen Could Face Death Penalty If Convicted For Buffalo Mass Shooting
Payton Gendron, the Conklin, New York teen charged with killing ten people and wounding three others in a racially motivated shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, may face the death penalty after the Justice Department charged him with 26 counts of hate crimes and a firearms offense.
Per Sadie Gurman of The Wall Street Journal, these charges are in addition to the state-level charges, including domestic terrorism and first-degree murder, which Gendron had pleaded not guilty to. New York State does not have a death penalty, so if convicted on the state charges Gendron would likely receive a life sentence.
If convicted on the federal charges brought by the Justice Department, the Journal states, he could potentially receive the death penalty.
Officials say Gendron posted a 180-page document online and live-streamed the May 14, 2022 attack. The document was reportedly filled with racist rants and conspiracy theories. The weapon used to carry out the attack also referenced the racial motivation behind it, authorities add. Per Gurman's report, investigators found a note in Gendron's home, which said he "had to commit this attack" and that he cares "for the future of the White race,"
This attack was one of many in recent weeks that has led to an increased push for gun control reform. Gendron acquired the weapon used in the attack legally, despite being hospitalized a year earlier after writing in a school essay that his future plans included a mass shooting and suicide. Despite that hospitalization for mental health evaluation, Gendron did not trigger any red flag laws that would prevent him from legally purchasing the weapon.
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