Pittsburgh congregation asks: No death penalty for 2018 attacker

One of the congregations targeted in Pittsburgh shooting attack asking that the shooter, Robert Bowers, not be given the death penalty.

Elad Benari ,

Scene of Pittsburgh shooting attack
Scene of Pittsburgh shooting attack
Alexi Rosenfeld

One of the congregations that were targeted in the Pittsburgh shooting attack in 2018 is asking that the shooter, Robert Bowers, not be given the death penalty, JTA reported on Monday.

The president of Congregation Dor Hadash, Bruce Herschlag, made the request of US Attorney General Merrick Garland in a letter sent last week, according to the report.

Justice in the ongoing trial of Bowers, 49, should be achieved “in a manner that is both consistent with our religious values and that spares us from the painful ordeal of prolonged legal maneuvering,” Herschlag wrote in the letter, dated June 17.

“The imposition of multiple life sentences would ensure that the perpetrator is never released. This is the outcome we desire,” he added.

Bowers is charged with killing 11 congregants in the October 27, 2018 attack, and injuring six others, including four police officers.

The shooter was armed with an AR-15 and three handguns and allegedly yelled “I want to kill all Jews” during the attack.

He was initially indicted on 44 counts. In January of 2019, a federal grand jury added 19 charges to the 44 counts previously levied against Bowers. He has pleaded not guilty to all 63 federal counts.

The US Justice Department has said it will seek the death penalty for Bowers, whose attorneys have argued that the death penalty would be unconstitutional.



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