Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooting trial to begin, prosecutors pursuing death penalty


(PITTSBURGH) — The death penalty trial is set to begin Tuesday for the man accused of killing 11 worshippers in a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Robert Bowers allegedly stormed the Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018, gunning down 11 people, including a 97-year-old woman, in the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history.

Bowers, according to authorities, made posts on the social media site Gab and allegedly posted and reposted photos with antisemitic tropes. Bowers allegedly told investigators after his arrest that he wanted to kill Jewish people, according to a criminal complaint.

Jury selection wrapped on Thursday and testimony is set to begin on Tuesday.

“In addition to the heavy weight of the horrors of this event, we’ll begin to transfer that weight from the families of just the families and the witnesses, to many more people in our community,” Maggie Feinstein, director of the 10.27 Healing Partnership, said outside court on Thursday. “The attack on Oct. 27, 2018, is awful and reliving the details will be extremely difficult for many people.”

Bowers, who faces charges including hate crimes resulting in death, has pleaded not guilty.

Testimony is expected to last three weeks. If Bowers is convicted, the sentencing phase could last an additional six weeks.

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