Feb 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Accused El Paso Walmart shooter faces federal hate crime charges

Memorial at the Walmart in El Paso. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

The suspect accused of killing 22 people and injuring two dozen others at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, last August has been charged with 90 counts under federal hate crime and firearms laws, AP reports, citing an indictment unsealed on Thursday.

Why it matters: Investigators found that 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, who confessed but entered a not guilty plea on a state capital murder charge last October, posted a manifesto aimed at scaring Hispanics into leaving the United States. The hate crime charges carry a possible death penalty.

Go deeper: The deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history

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America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

House passes bill to make lynching a federal hate crime

Photo: Aaron P. Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The House voted 410-4 on Wednesday to pass legislation to designate lynching as a federal hate crime.

Why it matters: Congress has tried and failed for over 100 years to pass measures to make lynching a federal crime.

Walmart tests rival to Amazon Prime

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Walmart plans to start publicly testing its new membership program called Walmart+ next month in hopes of competing with Amazon Prime, Recode's Jason Del Rey scoops.

Why it matters: The paid membership program "would include perks that Amazon can’t replicate, in part to avoid a direct comparison to Prime."