Robert Bowers, the shooter in the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, sits in court Tuesday, May 30, 2023.
The jury in the trial Pittsburgh Synagogue Mass shooter Robert Bowers was found eligible for the death penalty Thursday, shifting the focus of the proceedings to whether he should be sentenced to death or life in prison.
They deliberated for about two hours.
Bowers, 50, was found guilty on June 16 of 63 charges against him for killing 11 worshipers and injuring six others in Pittsburgh. tree of life Deadliest attack on Jewish people in America in 2018 Twenty-two of those counts were death sentences.
The jury in the next phase of the trial will hear from survivors and loved ones of the victims, who will speak about the lasting impact of Bowers’ rampage.
The final phase of the hearing is set to begin on Monday with opening statements.
Generally, a death penalty trial is divided into two parts, the guilt phase and the penalty phase. However, in this case, the judge accepted the defense’s request to divide the trial into three parts: the criminal phase, the competency phase and the sentencing phase. Each part consists of opening statements, closing arguments and judgments.
During this qualifying phase, prosecutors had to prove that Bowers was in a willful state of mind when the crimes were committed and was at least one aggravating factor in the mass shooting.
In Bowers’ own words, they argued that the shooting showed a clear intent and detailed planning: “All the Jews should die.”
In contrast, the defense sought to question whether Bowers acted with intent and highlighted his mental health issues.
Several doctors testified that they diagnosed him with schizophrenia and referred to his delusions and conspiracies about the Jews.
This is a developing story and will be updated.