USA - Federal. Federal prosecutor will pursue capital punishment for Robert Bowers, the “synagogue shooter”

31 October 2018 :


Scott Brady, who currently serves as the United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, will ask US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to approve his request to pursue capital punishment for Robert Bowers, the “synagogue shooter” who gunned down 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue. Brady said he launched the necessary legal procedure so prosecutors will be able to proceed with the maximum possible penalty in the case of Bowers, who has been charged with 29 criminal counts for the murder of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday. Per US law, each federal death penalty case must be authorized by the AG upon consultation with local attorneys. Brady said the investigation is in full swing and multiple search warrants have been issued as law enforcement aims to unearth all the circumstances behind the carnage. Bowers, 46, entered the synagogue armed with an AR-15 rifle and a Glock pistol during the Saturday service. Before going on the rampage, Bowers posted an anti-Semitic message on social media network Gab, popular with right-wing activists, extremist, and neo-fascists. Bowers' feed on Gab was filled with anti-Semitic slurs, as well as insults directed at US President Donald Trump, who he believed was surrounded by "too many" Jews. Bowers claimed that he did not vote for Trump. The synagogue massacre as well as the failed mail bomb plot by Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc, who sent 14 explosive devices - none of which worked - to high-profile Democrats, have further polarized the already volatile pre-midterm election environment in the US. Currently, Pennsylvania is under a death penalty moratorium issued by Gov. Tom Wolf during his first months in office. The federal government has executed 3 men since 1988. Judges and juries have sentenced 78 people to death by lethal injection, the federal form of execution. Timothy McVeigh, 33, was executed at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana on June 11, 2001, for the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, including 19 children in the building's daycare center, and injuring 684 others. McVeigh, who was condemned in June 1997 for the deaths of 8 federal officials in the bombing, waived his final appeals. Juan Raul Garza, 43, a drug dealer, was executed June 19, 2001, 8 days after McVeigh, in the same Indiana federal complex. He was convicted under the federal Drug Kingpin Act for the August 1993 murders of 3 drug traffickers in Texas. Louis Jones, 53, was executed on March 18, 2003, for the November 1995 kidnapping, rape and murder of a 19-year-old female Army private from Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas. Jones claimed he committed the murder because of the Gulf War Syndrome trauma he had suffered while on active duty. Dylann Roof, 24, is the 1st person to face capital punishment in the U.S. for federal hate crimes. He was sentenced to death in January 2017 for shooting 9 people in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., on June 17, 2015. Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 25, is the only person on federal death row for terrorism and murder. He and his brother planted bombs made from pressure cookers near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring more than 200. Tsarnaev was sentenced to death on May 15, 2015. Kaboni Savage, 43, is the only person from Pennsylvania who committed murder in Pennsylvania and was federally convicted and sentenced to death. Savage killed 12 people in connection with a drug enterprise in Philadelphia in 2013.


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