John T. Earnest, a 22-year-old former medical student, will not receive the death penalty for the shooting at a San Diego area synagogue on April 27, 2019, according to the Times of Israel.

Federal prosecutors announced they will not be sentencing Earnest the death penalty, instead it is expected that he shall receive a life sentence. Earnest had pleaded guilty to both murder and other charges in state court in July.

The decision not to pursue the death penalty comes just after US Attorney General Merrick Garland suspended federal executions until the State Department had reviewed and updated its policies regarding the subject.

Earnest is scheduled to be sentenced on September 30 to life in prison, without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 137 years to life. He also plead guilty to arson for setting the Dur-ul-Arqam Mosque aflame in Escondido on March 24 that same year.

Earnest walked into the Chabad of Poway during Passover services in April 2019 and opened fire, killing 60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye and wounding three others, including an 8-year-old girl and the congregation's rabbi during the attack.

According to San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan, "While we reserved the option of trying this as a death penalty case, life in prison without the possibility of parole for the defendant is an appropriate resolution to this violent hate crime and we hope it brings a measure of justice and closure to the victims, their families, friends and the wider community…"

The decision to not seek the death penalty for Earnest doesn’t come as a surprise for many as it appears to have become the standard in the state of California.

Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom had halted the use of lethal injection and other methods of death penalty in the state in 2019 and Democrat Assemblymembers Marc Levine and David Chiu introduced an amendment in December 2020 to prohibit the use of capital punishment for any violation of the law.

There has already been a 59 percent increase in shootings this year in Los Angeles alone, according to the LAPD. Critics of the amendment fear that the new legislation demonstrates there is little, if any, consequence for such actions.