Site icon California Examiner

Jury Declares Death Penalty Applicable to Pittsburgh Synagogue Mass Shooter

Jury Declares Death Penalty Applicable to Pittsburgh Synagogue Mass Shooter

On Thursday, the jury in the trial of Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers reached the verdict that he is eligible for the capital penalty, changing the focus of the trial to the question of whether or not he should be put to death. They talked it over for close to two hours.

On June 16th, 2018, Bowers, 50, was found guilty of all 63 charges against him for the murder of 11 people and the injury of six more at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2018. This was the bloodiest attack on Jewish people in the United States. Twenty-two of the charges amounted to death sentences.

In the next part of the trial, survivors and family members of the victims will testify before the jury about the lasting effects of Bowers’ attack. The jury will deliberate on Monday about whether to recommend death for the capital charges after hearing evidence of both aggravating and mitigating circumstances.

It’s been almost five years since eleven of our own were kidnapped. Maggie Feinstein, director of the 10.27 Healing Partnership, a support group for the families, stated in a statement, “They were loved and valued by their families, friends, and neighbors.”

The Tweet Below Verifies The News:

“They cannot speak for themselves, and so their family members will speak for them. In the next phase of the trial, our justice system will perform its duty to listen to their voices. We support them and we stand with them.”

In a statement released on Thursday, New Light Congregation said, “Significant progress has been made in the past eighty years” in eradicating antisemitism, “but there is still work to be done.”

“This trial is an important step in drawing a line between speech and action. We commend the jury on their difficult work and trust in their judgment as we enter the final sentencing phase of the trial.” The guilt phase of a death penalty trial is followed by the punishment phase.

In this case, however, the judge agreed with the defense and divided the trial into three parts: guilt, eligibility, and punishment. There are introductions, arguments, and a ruling for each segment.

I suggest the following sources if you’re interested in reading up on the most recent news craziness:

Prosecutors have to show that Bowers acted with malice in mind and that at least one aggravating circumstance arose from the mass shooting in order to move forward with the eligibility phase.The prosecution stated that Bowers had planned the massacre meticulously and that he intended for “all Jews to die.”

The defense, on the other hand, emphasized Bowers’ mental health problems and questioned whether or not he acted intentionally. For the defense, two doctors testified that he suffered from schizophrenia and that they had observed his paranoid and conspiratorial thinking, especially in regards to Jews.

The prosecution presented their own medical experts, such as a forensic psychiatrist, who disagreed with the defense’s diagnoses. Six people were injured in the incident, four of them law enforcement officials who rushed to the site. Eight people were inside the building, and they all made it out safely.

Three different Jewish communities were present in the synagogue that day for Shabbat services when the massacre occurred: Tree of Life, Dor Hadash, and New Light. The defense team said Wednesday during closing arguments that the shooter’s delusions “took over his thinking.”

“In 2018, that delusional belief system took over his thinking and made him incapable of really doing anything except following the dictates of that belief system,” defense attorney Michael Burt told the jury.

Burt, in his 90-minute closing argument, underlined how the defense team had concentrated on the threshold intent aspects in the case in an effort to show that Bowers was unable to establish the intent to kill or inflict significant injury due to mental illness.

“People don’t go into a church and kill a bunch of older people for no reason,” Burt said. “We’ve tried to provide you with reasons that we think explain how this horrible crime could’ve happened.” The defense presented two doctors who diagnosed the shooter with schizophrenia; one also suspected epilepsy.

Burt distinguished between “a rational, conscious intent to kill, as opposed to a crazy, delusional intent that is found in mental illness.” Prosecutor Eric Olshan argued that Bowers does not suffer from schizophrenia, epilepsy, or delusions, contradicting the opinions of the defense specialists.

Olshan stated, “He just believes things that are repugnant.” The prosecutor informed the jury that even if the defendant had these conditions, it wouldn’t change anything regarding whether or not he could have the intent to kill.

Don’t be distracted from the simple and commonsense fact that everything the defendant did in the months leading up to October 27 and on that horrific day was because that’s exactly what he intended to do,” Olshan said. Before the closing statements, US District Judge Robert Colville told the jury that they were not to take into account the fact that Bowers did not testify.

I suggest the following sources if you’re interested in reading up on the most recent news craziness:

“You must not draw any adverse inference against him because he did not take the witness stand,” he said. In the most recent part of the trial, which lasted for more than two weeks, the jury heard from a total of 20 witnesses. According to evidence, on the day of the massacre, Bowers walked up to the synagogue with three handguns and an AR-15 rifle, fired at the building’s entrance, and then opened fire on worshippers inside.

Bowers was shot numerous times by police before he surrendered and was taken into custody. One of the deceased was a 97-year-old great-grandmother, another was an 87-year-old accountant, and the third was a couple who had been married at the synagogue more than 60 years before to their deaths.

Bowers had been an active member of the far-right extremist community on the small social media network Gab for years before the killing. He called refugees “invaders” and railed against the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a Maryland-based organization that was created a century ago in New York to help refugees of all faiths.

Clicking the “Like” button on our Facebook page will allow us to keep you better informed and in the loop.

Exit mobile version