The jury in the trial of the man who opened fire in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania synagogue and murdered 11 worshipers has sentenced Robert Bowers to death in the deadliest-ever attack on Jews in the United States.
Six other people were wounded in addition to those who were killed in 2018 by the gunman.
Bowers, 50, was found guilty on June 16 on all 63 charges against him in the attack, including 11 counts each of obstruction of free exercise of religion resulting in death and hate crimes resulting in death — each of which is a capital crime.
A truck driver from the Pittsburgh suburb of Baldwin, the hate-filled gunman opened fire on the members of three congregations who had gathered on Oct. 27, 2018.
Bowers fired more than 100 rounds at the worshipers, turning the place into a “hunting ground.”
He has never expressed regret for his actions.
The prosecutor, US Attorney Eric Olshan told the jury in his closing argument that Bowers “turned an ordinary Jewish Sabbath into the worst antisemitic mass shooting in US history, and he is proud of it.
“Eleven people, 11 full lives, 11 people who loved their families, 11 people who loved their friends, 11 people who were loved,” Olshan said. “Eight hundred and 13 years of life gone in less time than it took me to give you even the briefest window into how unique these people were. This man murdered every single one of them.”
Bowers’ defense attorney, Judy Clarke appealed to the jury for mercy in her closing arguments, claiming her client suffered from mental illness.
The jury had to make a unanimous decision to sentence the killer to death; otherwise the verdict defaults to life in prison without parole.