Bowers’ Attorneys Argued That He Was Not Motivated By Hatred Of Jews When He Killed 11 People

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After several weeks of testimony, the jury’s deliberations in the Robert Bowers shooting case at the Tree of Life Synagogue began on Thursday.

Bowers’ Attorneys Argued That He Was Not Motivated By Hatred Of Jews When He Killed 11 People. (Photo: Matt Rourke/AP)

Bowers’ attorneys admitted at the opening of the trial that their client killed 11 people at the Pittsburgh synagogue in October 2018, but they insisted that he was not motivated by anti-Semitism.

According to CNN, the prosecution called the accusations “absurd” during Thursday’s closing arguments. Mary Hahn, a prosecutor, claims that his hatred of Jews is extreme. “That is what prompted him to act,”

There is little doubt that Bowers fired the shots, but due to the 63 federal offenses he is charged with in connection with the assault, talks might go on for days. If found guilty on some counts, he may be given the death penalty.

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The trial was delayed for years while Bowers’ attorneys haggled with federal prosecutors. Bowers volunteered to plead guilty in order to get a life sentence with no chance of parole, but the federal government rejected him in order to seek the death penalty.

After several weeks of jury selection, the trial finally began in late May. The prosecution called a number of witnesses over the course of two weeks.

In a number of social media posts published by the authorities earlier this week, Bowers extolled the virtues of Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust while hurling antisemitic epithets like “Jews are the children of Satan.”

Just before the assault, on October 27, 2018, Bowers said on Facebook: “The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society likes to bring invaders in that kill our people.” I can’t watch while my people are wiped out. Your lenses are useless; I’m coming in.

The prosecution’s witnesses were only lightly cross-examined by the defense, which did not bring any witnesses.

22 of the 63 crimes Bowers is charged with could result in a death sentence. The trial will proceed to what is probably a lengthy punishment phase if Bowers is found guilty of one of those crimes, at which point the same jury will decide whether to sentence him to death.

A number of state charges against Bowers have also been postponed while the federal case is being resolved. Federal prosecutors have periodically requested the death sentence, notwithstanding Attorney General Merrick Garland’s early moratorium on executions.

READ ALSO: Jury Convicts Five Men For Killing 10-Year-Old Girl in the District of Columbia

 

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