Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue mass shooting: Jury reaches verdict in death penalty phase

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(PITTSBURGH) — A federal jury has decided if Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooter Robert Bowers will be sentenced to death or to life in prison following weeks of testimony in the trial’s penalty phase.

The jury’s verdict is expected to be announced shortly.

Bowers stormed the Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018, gunning down 11 congregants in the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history.

Bowers allegedly told investigators after his arrest that he wanted to kill Jewish people, according to a criminal complaint.

Bowers had offered to plead guilty if the death penalty was taken off the table, but prosecutors turned him down.

Bowers was convicted in June on all 63 charges against him, including 11 counts of hate crimes resulting in death.

At Bowers’ trial, prosecutors said he moved “methodically” through the synagogue with a semi-automatic assault-style rifle and three handguns, shooting many of his victims at close range.

Defense attorney Judy Clarke admitted at trial that Bowers was the shooter, but asked the jurors to “scrutinize his intent” in the attack.

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