El Paso man sentenced to 90 consecutive terms for Walmart shooting


Patrick Crusius, who pleaded guilty in February to killing 23 people and injuring 22 others at an El Paso Walmart store, was sentenced early this month to 90 consecutive life terms, the U.S. Department of Justice reported.

Crusius was charged with 90 federal counts, including 45 hate crimes, in a shooting rampage in August 2019. According to the grand jury indictment, two months before the attack, he bought an assault rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammunition online and, just before the shooting, posted a document declaring that the assault was “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” At the store, he targeted people of Latino descent. 

In announcing its plea deal with Crusius, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said, “This guilty plea cannot bring back those whose lives were lost, or heal those still suffering, but it does put us firmly on the path to justice.”

Why DOJ didn’t find a similar “path to justice” for Robert Bowers, whose death penalty trial is now in the penalty phase in Pittsburgh, is baffling. Bowers, convicted of killing 11 people and wounding six at the Tree of Life synagogue in 2018 in what the ADL called “the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States,” offered to plead guilty to the 63 charges he faced. Still, DOJ chose to seek the death penalty.

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