New York City Subway Shooter Frank James Gets 10 Life Sentences
Frank James, the man responsible for the mass shooting in New York City’s subway system that wounded 10 people in 2022, will serve the rest of his life behind bars after his sentencing on Oct. 5. He received 10 life sentences plus 10 years.
As CBS New York reported, James was remorseful as he told the court, “They in no way deserved to have what happened to them.”
James also said that the shooting was, in part, motivated by a desire to call attention to the lack of mental health services. His lawyer attempted to have James’s sentence reduced to 18 years because of James’s diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, but Judge William Kuntz would not budge on that front, telling his attorney that James’ actions, “cannot be excused or explained away with mental illness.”
Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for New York’s Eastern District, said after the trial was over, “Not just those who were wounded physically, but also those who witnessed this horrific act and others who put themselves at risk to help will live with these traumatic events for the rest of their lives.”
On April 12, 2022, disguised as a construction worker, James made his way to the Sunset Park, Brooklyn, subway station, when the N train pulled into the station, he set off smoke bombs and started shooting. Once James finished, 10 people, ranging in age from 16 to 60, had been shot.
According to a press release from the Department of Justice, Attorney General Merrick Garland described the impetus behind the sentencing of James, “Nothing can undo the damage that Frank James’s mass shooting inflicted on the 10 victims who were shot or the dozens more who suffered other injuries, but this sentence ensures that he will spend the rest of his life in prison for the devastation he caused.”
Director of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Steven Dettelbach, whose agency was among the first on the scene, said in the press release, “When a gun was recovered on the subway platform, ATF conducted an urgent trace of the crime gun to identify the purchaser, ultimately leading to the name of the shooter. Today’s sentence not only reflects the heinousness of the crimes committed, but it reflects the extraordinary work of all the law enforcement and prosecutors involved. It takes the best of the best to catch the worst of the worst.”
The press release also detailed James’ actions after the shooting had concluded; he purchased a burner phone, which he used to stay up to date on the news coverage of his attack. The FBI discovered that James used the phone to watch 31 videos reporting on his attack on the subway and he also watched a James Bond chase scene from the film No Time To Die 10 times before eventually turning himself in using the NYPD Crime Stoppers hotline after a 34-hour manhunt.