Jury finds 2018 synagogue shooter eligible for death penalty

by ian

On Thursday, a Pittsburgh jury found that synagogue gunman Robert Bowers was eligible for the death penalty.

The decision came just over a month after the same jury convicted Bowers on all 63 charges laid against him. Bowers was found guilty of killing 11 individuals and wounding six more at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh over four years ago.

The jury concluded after only two hours that Bowers intentionally killed people in an abhorrent manner. Prosecutors have argued that the shooting was planned and premeditated.

On Monday, the court will hear arguments that will ultimately decide whether Bowers is sentenced to life in prison or put on federal death row. The defense has argued that brain lesions present in Bowers’ head may have caused mental illness.

Defense attorney Michael Burt said “the real issue of the case has to do with the brain and what we can say about Mr. Bowers’ brain.” Prosecutors have argued Bowers was competent to understand what he was doing.