A Texas man who shot dead 23 people at an El Paso Walmart does not face the federal death penalty, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Patrick Crusius, now 24, opened fire at the supermarket in August 2019 after posting a slew of racist material online.
He will face trial on 90 hate crime charges in January 2024 but will not be federally executed after Joe Biden campaigned for federal abolition of the death penalty and the Attorney General imposed a moratorium in July 2021.
However, Crusius could still be executed by the state of Texas.
His lawyers argued that their client had been diagnosed with an intellectual disability, which should be a red flag to prosecutors.
They said Crusius was “diagnosed with severe, lifelong neurological and mental disabilities” and was treated with antipsychotic drugs after his arrest shortly after the El Paso massacre.
The prison’s mental health staff determined that the then 21-year-old was in a “psychotic state”.
Patrick Crusius “was diagnosed with a severe, lifelong neurological and mental disability,” his attorneys wrote in a court filing
Crusius’ mental illnesses, which were previously unreported, were revealed in a request from his lawyers for more time to investigate these “mitigating issues” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Crusius’ mental health condition, which has not been previously reported, was revealed in a request from his lawyers for more time for the investigation
“The attorney must gather all the information necessary to brief experts who will then be able to question Mr. Crusius in prison and provide expert opinions on his mental state at the time of the shooting,” the filing reads, CBS reports DFW. “As of now, no experts can accomplish these things as they are either required to stay at home by the government or their employers, or are in a high-risk category for COVID and cannot travel to meet Mr. Crusius.”
The court papers also state that Crusius was in a special school for much of his schooling, but does not address his mental health. A lawyer for his family, Christopher Ayres, declined to comment.
Crusius was arrested shortly after the August 3 shooting. Police later said he confessed to driving from his home near Dallas to the border town to attack Mexicans. Shortly before the attack, prosecutors said he posted a racist screed online that railed against Hispanics coming to the United States.
Crusius has pleaded not guilty to a state case in which prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, but has not entered a plea in law on the numerous hate crime and gun charges he faces in federal court. A trial date was not set in either case.
The August 3 shooting in El Paso left dozens wounded and eventually killed 23 people
A conviction on the federal charges could also carry a death sentence, and attorneys for Crusius said in their court filing on Saturday that prosecutors said they would proceed until July 30 with a decision on which sentence to seek.
David Lane, a Colorado-based defense attorney, wrote that this schedule would violate Crusius’ constitutional rights because the virus has blocked their investigation of issues the government needs to consider.
Crusius has pleaded not guilty to a state case in which prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, but has not entered a plea in law on the numerous hate crime and gun charges he faces in federal court
Lane, who is over 65, said security concerns have prevented the defense team from conducting face-to-face interviews since mid-March, including with Crusius, who is being held without bail. He asked the judge to schedule a hearing on these issues in October.
Federal prosecutors oppose the motion and have said the attorney general will decide whether to seek the death penalty. They do not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lane declined to comment, saying, “The motion speaks for itself.”
About four dozen people were hit by gunfire, and 20 were killed instantly during the Aug. 3 shooting. Two other victims died of their wounds two days later. Another victim died in late April.
Police said they arrested Crusius near the shooting after he surrendered to officers and told them he was targeting “Mexicans”. They also credited him with a four-page racist screed denouncing a Hispanic “invasion” of Texas and the United States and calling for ethnic and racial segregation.
Police said they arrested Crusius near the shooting after he surrendered to officers and told them he was targeting “Mexicans”. FBI agents after the August 3 shooting
The shooting was the largest terrorist attack on Hispanics in modern history and spread fear throughout the Latino community.
After the attack, El Paso police said the Walmart had previously hired off-duty armed cops to guard larger stores but eventually removed them.
The store where filming took place reopened in November.
The attack in the Texas border town was followed just 13 hours later by a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, in which a gunman killed nine people and injured 27 others before being shot dead by police.
The successive massacres sparked a political outcry when El Paso native and then-Democratic Party presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke called for mandatory confiscation of the assault rifles often used in mass shootings.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/uncategorized/feds-will-not-seek-death-penalty-for-el-paso-walmart-gunman-patrick-crusius-who-killed-23-people/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feds-will-not-seek-death-penalty-for-el-paso-walmart-gunman-patrick-crusius-who-killed-23-people FBI agents will NOT seek the death penalty for Patrick Crusius, the El Paso Walmart shooter who killed 23 people