Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will seek the death penalty against Robert Aaron Long, the Atlanta Spa Shooter who killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women, during a shooting rampage on March 16.
The decision brought attention to Wallis’ stance on the death penalty, which has significantly shifted from the time she launched her campaign, to her time in office. Prior to assuming the role, Willis said that she opposed capitol punishment, citing that out of the murder cases she formerly prosecuted, none were appropriate for the death penalty.
“I cannot foresee a case (in which) I would seek death, as I believe that life without parole is an appropriate remedy,” Willis previously stated.
In addition to the death penalty, Willis will also pursue hate crime charges, affirming what many believe, that Long targeted Asian women in an act of hate and misogyny in spite of law enforcement officials who stated otherwise. It marks the first time hate crime charges will be pursued in the county.
In July of last year Georgia’s hate crime statue went into effect after outrage over the senseless killing of Ahmaud Arbery. It allows “additional penalties to be imposed for certain crimes when motivated by a victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender or disability. It also mandates the collection and reporting of data on hate crimes investigated by law enforcement,” according to the Associated Press.
Willis addressed her critics during a Tuesday press conference.
“Last year, I told the voters of Fulton County that I could not imagine a circumstance where I would seek it. And at that time I did not,” she said. “Unfortunately, a case has risen in the first few months of my term that I believe warrants the ultimate penalty and we shall seek it.”
“I have personally reviewed the statement in this case. I have personally walked the crime scene in these cases along with Chief Senior ADA, I have spent more than six hours with the families involved in this case. We have reviewed the evidence and I am comfortable in the decision that this is an appropriate sentence to seek.”
Because Long crossed county lines during the shooting rampage, he faces four counts of murder, aggravated assault, domestic terrorism and possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony in Fulton County.
In Cherokee County, Long was also indicted on four counts of murder, criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and criminal damage to property in the first degree.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, only one person has been sentenced to death in the state over the last seven years. In 2019 a woman named Tiffany Moss was sentenced to death for starving her 10-year-old stepdaughter to death and attempting to burn her remains inside of a trash can. Moss represented herself, citing that it was “God’s will” to go alone in the trial.
If Long is convicted of the felony charges under the hate crime statue a judge could impose two additional years for a felony and a fine up to $5,000.
Violent White Folks Who Were Taken Into Custody With Loving Care By Police
1. Miami airport violence
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Last night at Miami Int’l Airport. Another FL anti-masker covidiot. (Strong language). pic.twitter.com/kO18bBFPTb— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) August 28, 2021
2. Floyd Ray Roseberry
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NEW: “The revolution is on. It’s here… I’m ready to die for the cause.”— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 19, 2021
Here’s video from the man who said he’s got a bomb outside the Capitol.
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3. Jeffrey Nicholas
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Jeffrey Nicholas, a white man shot and killed two police officers and injured a city worker in Texas before he was able to be safely apprehended without law enforcement resorting to using lethal force.https://t.co/sLhFwxZHgg pic.twitter.com/yWd0XUg7Og— NewsOne (@newsone) May 13, 2021
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BLUE ALERT issued for Dalton Potter, age 29. Potter is suspected of shooting a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office deputy overnight. Last known to be on foot on Interstate 75 at the Whitfield/Gordon County line. Potter is considered armed and dangerous. Call 911. #BlueAlert pic.twitter.com/Vdyl8ReGaW— GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) September 7, 2020
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Interesting.— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) August 30, 2020
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Nicholas Arnold Schock, 36, of Wauchula was arrested and charged with battery and disturbing the peace and bail was set at $620. He remains at the Sarasota County Jail. pic.twitter.com/ggDBjAxCN1— Carlos R. Munoz 📰 (@ReadCarlos) August 2, 2020
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Patrick Crusius allegedly wrote a racist manifesto before killing at least 18 people in Saturday's shooting at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso. The suspect, a white male, was safely taken into custody.— NewsOne (@newsone) August 3, 2019
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24. James Holmes
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Today on #CrimeStories: Prosecutors have released video of #Aurora shooter #JamesHolmes’ interviews w/ a psychiatrist. Tune in now on @SiriusXM ch. 111 for insight on the evaluation of his sanity in the #Colorado theater massacre. #NancyGrace #CrimeAlert #CrimeOnline #MassKiller pic.twitter.com/DKRD2s0ay8— Crime Online (@crimeonlinenews) February 26, 2019
25. Michael Mattioli25 of 32
26. Dylann RoofSource:Getty 26 of 32
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Again, if Matthew Sloan was a Black man this would be a much different story. https://t.co/K4cwb6SQ38— NewsOne (@newsone) July 12, 2019
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This man never complied— Gambling Refund 💵™ (@OffshoreRefund) May 14, 2019
This man actually hit police multiple times
This man chased police and made them fear for safety
This man was not killed!
Pamela Turner was murdered and pregnant, she was never given the same opportunity. WHY? @KingJamespic.twitter.com/DfzdICbOy8
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Downtown CHARLOTTESVILLE right now. F*ing white trash has a black man submitted first with a knife around his neck, then makes him kneel still threatening to stab him.— ℕ𝕠𝕥 𝕓𝕚𝕡𝕠𝕝𝕒𝕣 𝕥𝕠𝕕𝕒𝕪 (@tomorrowtambien) December 28, 2018
Please, Twitter do your thing in the name of justice #resist @washingtonpost @MSNBC pic.twitter.com/klg7g5ac22
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Fulton County DA Reverses Course, Seeks ‘Ultimate Penalty’ Against Spa Shooting Suspect was originally published on newsone.com