A federal judge asked prosecutors on Thursday to decide quickly whether they would seek the death penalty for the white supremacist who allegedly shot and killed 10 black people at a Buffalo supermarket last month .
Magistrate Judge Kenneth Schroeder filed the petition during a brief hearing in US District Court, where 18-year-old Peyton Gendron was appointed public defender after saying he only had $16 in his bank account.
Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, slacks and a black mask, Gendron kept his head down as Schroeder read out the charges against him, and only while answering routine questions from the judge to determine his eligibility for taxpayer-funded attorneys. talked to.
The accused shooter told Schroeder that he had not been employed for a year and had no assets — other than two shares of Disney stock and changes to his bank account.
Schroeder urged prosecutors to make decisions on the death penalty quickly, noting the “substantial” cost of defending cases that typically require expert testimony from psychiatrists and medical examiners.
“This matter has been around for almost a month now. According to ABC News, Schroeder said, “I expect the Justice Department to take steps that will reasonably bring about “a decision on the matter.”
Federal Prosecutor Joseph Trippy said they could not decide on the death penalty until the indictment against Gendron is dropped and even then, it would be Attorney General Merrick Garland’s “sole decision”.
Garland, who met with the victims’ families on Wednesday, is yet to rule out the death penalty.
On May 14, Gendron reportedly drove more than 200 miles from his home in Conklin, New York, to commit a hate-filled mass shooting at Topps Friendly Supermarket, located in the black part of Buffalo.
Prosecutors said the college dropouts reportedly detailed their plans in a sick diary, where they wrote that the assault was necessary to prevent black people from eliminating the white race.
Soon after the incident, which also injured three, Gendron was indicted in state court on domestic extremism charges, which carry a sentence of life imprisonment without eligibility for parole.
He also now faces federal hate crime charges, which make him eligible for the death penalty.
He has pleaded not guilty in the state court. His lawyer in the case declined to comment.
post with wires