Pittsburgh synagogue shooter will be sentenced to death, jury finds

by | Aug 2, 2023 | Religion

PITTSBURGH (RNS) — Nearly five years since he entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and methodically slaughtered 11 Jewish congregants, Robert Bowers will face the death penalty after a jury unanimously decided that he deserved the maximum sentence for each of the murders. His attack is the worst act of antisemitism in U.S. history.Shortly before noon on Wednesday (Aug. 2), the federal judge in the case, Robert Colville, reviewed how the jurors voted on each of the 115 mitigating factors they were asked to consider. None of the jurors was persuaded by arguments that Bowers had brain abnormalities, suffered from schizophrenia or was motivated by delusional beliefs about Jewish people being used by Satan to bring about the end of the world.
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life synagogue celebrated the “immense embrace” of the U.S. justice system at a news conference after the verdict, saying it confirmed that “our government doesn’t condone antisemitism.”
“We have the right to practice our Judaism, and no one will ever take that right away from us,” Myers said.
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers speaks to the media, surrounded by survivors and families of victims, after the jury’s verdict Aug. 2, 2023. Robert Bowers will face the death penalty for killing 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018. RNS photo by Kathryn Post
In the coming days, survivors of the attack will address the court about the impact of the massacre on their lives. …

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