Judge rules death penalty still on table for Pittsburgh Tree of Life shooter

Robert Bowers is accused of carrying out the most deadly antisemitic shooting in US history


PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 31: Mourners visit the memorial outside the Tree of Life Synagogue on October 31, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Eleven people were killed in a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood on October 27. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

An American judge has said that the death penalty remains an option for the man accused of carrying out the deadliest antisemitic shooting in American history.

In an 11-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Robert Colville, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ruled that the defendant’s legal team in the Tree of Life *Or L’Simcha Synagogue shooting trial “fails entirely” to show that the government arbitrarily pursued the death penalty.

Attorneys for Robert Bowers, the defendant who is accused of carrying out the most lethal antisemitic attack in U.S. history, argued that the prosecution was acting arbitrarily by pursuing the death penalty against Bowers but not against those accused of other mass shootings.

So far, the court has interviewed 108 potential jurors since April 24 in a process expected to last weeks. So far, 36 have been chosen as eligible to serve. One of the primary questions for the jurors has been their views on the death penalty.

Reportedly, multiple would-be jurors were excluded for questioning whether capital punishment was moral, and another, who has anti-Jewish beliefs and mocked the synagogue shooting in online forums, was also dismissed.

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