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Will federal prosecutors seek the death penalty? Lawyers share thoughts on Aug. 3 trial

EL PASO -- The federal trial for the accused Walmart shooter is set to start in January 2024.

However it could be a while before we know if federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty. 

Right now, the U.S. Attorney General put a moratorium on federal executions, and president Biden has said he's against using the death penalty. The state, however, has said they do intend to seek the death penalty.

Amanda Enriquez, a deputy public defender, who was a prosecutor on the Walmart shooter case. She says is unlikely the state case will move forward if the federal trial results in the death penalty.

"The goal is to do this once, and not put the community, these victims, through it again. he can only get the death penalty once," Enriquez said. "I would find it unlikely that the DA's office, knowing that the federal government was successful in getting the death penalty, would pursue a second trial to get the same outcome and put everyone through that, waste resources, and put everyone through a second trial again. I would find it very unlikely."

Enriquez also says it's very likely the trial will be moved somewhere else, because it will be very hard to find jury members who have not already formulated an opinion. 

Article Topic Follows: News

Edwin Delgado

Edwin Delgado is an ABC-7 producer.

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