US President Donald Trump called for new legislation to ensure that those who commit "hate crimes and mass murders" are given the death penalty. The comments were made during a speech in Washington DC on Monday in the wake of two mass shootings which left at least 29 people dead in Texas and Ohio.
"Today I am also directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty," the president said.
Trump said "we must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms and if they do they can be taken through rapid due process." He went on to add that "mental illness and hatred pull the trigger, not the gun."
On Saturday, 20 people were killed and more than two dozen injured, after a gunman opened fire at a Walmart store inside the Cielo Vista Mall, the largest shopping centre in El Paso, Texas. The motive for the attacks remains unknown, but according to reports which cite the police the shooter posted a racist 'manifesto' online justifying the attack.
A 21-year-old suspect was arrested and named by police as Dallas-resident Patrick Crusius.
In the early hours on Sunday morning, just hours Saturday's shooting in El Paso, a further mass shooting occurred when a gunman opened fire near the entrance of a bar in Dayton, Ohio, killing nine including his sister and injuring 27 others.
The gunman was killed by police within a minute of the shots being fired, and was identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts.