Man charged with worst attack on Jews in U.S. history loses yet again capital punishment Removed as possible punishment.
Jury selection is underway in the federal trial of Robert Bowers, who is charged with murdering 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where three congregations gathered on October 27, 2018.
The charges included 11 counts of death for obstructing the free exercise of religion and 11 counts of death for hate crimes.
Prosecutors say Bowers made anti-Semitic comments at the scene and on online forums.
A judge on Tuesday ruled against the defense’s motion to challenge the government’s pursuit of the death penalty.
U.S. District Judge Robert Colville said Bowers’ defense had “failed.”[ed] Just to establish the grounds on which the court could conclude that the government arbitrarily sought the death penalty in this case. “
Over 100 potential jurors were questioned during the first seven days of jury selection, with emphasis on their views on potential death sentences. The process resumed on Wednesday.
Bowers’ attorneys have offered a guilty plea in exchange for life in prison without parole, but prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, which most of the victims’ families support.
In legal filings, Bowers’ attorneys argued that the U.S. Department of Justice lacked “discernible principled grounds” for seeking the death penalty against Bowers, but not in comparable cases. The defense also opposed proceedings for the government to consider Bowers’ request for reconsideration.
Colville Judge agreed with the government’s contention that Bowers failed to explain the difference between his case and other cases.
Donald Trump, who was in office at the time of the Tree of Life attack, declared that murderers should “pay the ultimate price” and that the death penalty should “return to fashion.” , resumed during Trump’s presidency after a 17-year hiatus. In his last six months of his tenure, 13 of his inmates were executed.
Joe Biden hinted during his 2020 campaign that he would work to end the federal death penalty, but critics say he has done nothing since. introduced a moratorium to study That hasn’t stopped prosecutors from pursuing Bowers’ death sentence.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/may/03/pittsburgh-synagogue-massacre-robert-bowers-death-penalty Pittsburgh Synagogue Attack Trial: Judge Denies Death Penalty | Pittsburgh Shooting