His guilty plea to 10 counts of first-degree murder in the Buffalo Tops supermarket mass shooting will send Payton Gendron to prison for life, without the chance of parole. But it may or may not mark the end of criminal proceedings against him, according to a published report.
Gendron still faces federal charges that include 10 counts of hate crimes resulting in death and could result in the death penalty if U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland decides to seek it.
In a recent article in the Democrat and Chronicle, reporter Gary Craig explored whether the certainty of Gendron’s sentence of life without parole in state prison would prompt federal prosecutors to decide not to seek a death sentence.
The article explains that Gendron’s guilty plea was ultimately aimed at keeping him from having to face a federal death penalty prosecution. But, according to the article, the question of whether federal prosecutors will push ahead regardless isn’t a simple one.
Partner Terry Flynn, leader of our Government Compliance and Investigations group, told the Democrat and Chronicle that he suspects that Gendron’s attorneys will argue strongly that the state life with no parole sentence should end the case.
“Whether it will be determinative or whether it will be part of the attorney general’s determination process, we don’t know. It will be up to him,” Terry told the Democrat and Chronicle.
Here’s a link to the full article quoting Terry. A login and password may be required.