Washington, Aug 2 (EFE).- A jury voted Wednesday to impose the death penalty on the man who killed 11 people and wounded seven others in 2018 at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the worst anti-Semitic attack in the history of the United States.
Jurors deliberated for more than 10 hours before reaching a unanimous decision that Robert Bowers should die for perpetrating the massacre.
US District Judge Robert J. Colville announced the sentence about 30 minutes after the jury informed him they had a verdict.
If all 12 jurors had not agreed on the death penalty, Bowers would have been sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
The same jury found Bowers guilty on June 16 of all 63 counts in connection with the Oct. 27, 2018, attack on the synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.
Members of three different congregations, Tree of Life, Dor Hadash, and New Light, were preparing for Sabbath services inside the building when Bowers shot out the front window.
Bowers, now 50, shouted “all Jews must die” while firing on the 22 worshippers present with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and other weapons.
Five law enforcement officers were among those wounded before the shooter surrendered.
The Pittsburgh resident posted anti-immigrant and anti-Jewish content on social media during the months leading up to the attack.
Defense attorneys pointed to Bowers’ history of mental health problems in arguing against the death penalty, but prosecutors stressed that the attack was premeditated and noted the shooter’s lack of remorse.
This is the first federal death sentence handed down since Joe Biden became president on Jan. 20, 2021.
The most recent execution in the federal system took place on Jan. 16, 2021. EFE er/dr