The entire nation is grieving for the recent senseless loss of life that occurred in Buffalo. According to recent reports, an 18-year-old suspect visited the Tops supermarket in Buffalo on Saturday and opened fire on several victims. At least 10 victims lost their lives as a result of the attack, and a total of 13 people were shot.
What’s more, authorities are currently investigating whether the incident was a hate crime, as all the individuals targeted were black. To further add to this theory, the New York Times reported that the suspect visited the neighborhood near the market the day before the attack to conduct “reconnaissance.”
What’s even more concerning is that the suspect had known mental health issues. Las June, he was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation after making threats at his high school of executing a murder-suicide after he graduated school. He later backtracked and told police that his “threat” was just a joke, but in retrospect, it was likely much more than that.
Mass Shooting Crimes Are Punished Very Seriously: Is Insanity a Good Defense?
Mass shootings are one of the highest profile crimes. When these tragedies occur, the media attention they receive is substantial, which often makes courtrooms feel even more pressure to not give the suspects any leniency at all. While some states do still uphold the death penalty, New York isn’t one of them. Capital punishment is rarely enforced. In situations like the recent mass shooting, the suspects would likely receive the maximum sentence, which would be life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The suspect in this case was held for a mental evaluation last year, though, which indicates that the suspect was suffering from mental health issues for some time.
Does that qualify as proof of insanity when it comes to a situation like a mass shooting? It depends, and it is very difficult to prove the insanity defense. To do so, the suspect (or their legal team) will need to prove they were unable to understand the wrongfulness of their acts as a result of severe mental disease.
Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Mass shooting crimes are taken very seriously by the law. If you or a loved one was recently accused of fatally injuring someone willfully and intentionally, then don’t wait any longer to reach out to a legal representative you can trust. Without proper representation, you could get sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, which is the maximum sentence in some states.
If you or a loved one were experiencing a mental health crisis when the shooting occurred, then it’s even more crucial to secure an attorney. A good lawyer can help your loved one get the medical care they really need while also ensuring the courts treat them fairly if they receive any type of diagnosis.
Contact our office to learn more about your legal options moving forward.