Pittsburgh synagogue killer gets death penalty

 August 3, 2023

A federal jury sentenced Tree of Life synagogue killer Robert Bowers to a death sentence on Wednesday.

The verdict comes after Bowers was found guilty in the deaths of 11 people and wounding six others in the Pittsburg synagogue in October 2018.

The deadliest attack

"The Tree of Life shooting was the deadliest attack on Jewish people in the United States," the Washington Examiner reported.

"Before coming to a unanimous decision, jurors deliberated for about 10 hours over two days. They unanimously agreed with the prosecution’s argument and rejected some of the defense’s key points," it added.

A sense of closure

"We thank the jury for their hard work and determination while upholding the law," the statement from one victim's family read.

"We know the evidence has not been easy to see or hear, and we will never be able to thank them enough for their poise and professionalism. Although we will never attain closure from the loss of our beloved Rose Mallinger, we now feel a measure of justice has been served," the statement added.

A history of antisemitism

"Mr Bowers’ social media footprint demonstrated a history of fueling antisemitism and expressing hateful rhetoric. Mr Bowers was said to be particularly active on the platform Gab, where in his bio he asserted that 'Jews are the children of Satan,'" Antisemitism.org reported.

"During the trial, Rabbi Jonathan Perlman took the witness stand, reportedly wearing the same skullcap that he wore the day that Mr Bowers attacked the synagogue, which the police only recently returned to Rabbi Perlman after holding it as evidence for years," it continued.

The shooting occurred on a Shabbat morning as worshipers were gathered inside the synagogue.

Bowers was armed with an AR-15 rifle and multiple handguns on the day of the attack. Four of the people killed were police officers responding to the incident.

The large loss of life involving both officers and an attack of hatred toward Jewish people made the controversial attack one that the jury unanimously decided was worthy of the death penalty. The rare move in the state of Pennsylvania was one that many hope will bring some sense of justice to the tragic situation.


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