The jury in Robert Bowers’ trial, who shot and killed 11 worshipers at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018, started deliberating on whether to execute him on Tuesday.
No decision yet had been reached
CNN reported that after seven hours of discussion on Tuesday afternoon, no decision had been reached. On Wednesday, the court will meet once more at 8:30 a.m. ET.
The execution of the gunman must be decided by a unanimous vote. If not, he will receive a life without parole term.
The jury requested and was given permission to inspect the pistols used in the massacre shortly after the trial got underway on Tuesday morning.
In connection with the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in October 2018, which was the bloodiest attack on Jews in US history, Bowers, 50, was found guilty of all 63 charges against him on June 16.
These counts included 22 capital offenses.
On July 13, the jury further determined that he qualified for the death penalty, advancing the case to the third and final sentencing phase.
Bowers’ persistent hate of Jews
The trial’s final phase concentrated on aggravating and mitigating circumstances that might apply to Bowers. The prosecution emphasized Bowers’ persistent hate of Jews and lack of regret for his acts, as well as testimony from victims’ family members discussing their loved ones.
When Bowers stormed into the synagogue on a rainy Saturday morning and started killing people with an AR-15-style rifle, the trial took place almost five years ago. Three congregations were holding weekly Shabbat services at the synagogue on that particular day: Tree of Life, Dor Hadash, and New Light.
A 87-year-old accountant, a 97-year-old great-grandmother, and a couple who were married at the synagogue more than 60 years earlier were among the victims.
Those who survived the massacre gave testimony in court about hiding in closets and hearing their friends’ and family members’ dying words. In addition, four injured law enforcement officers testified that they were fired upon when retaliating to the assault before Bowers eventually ran out of ammunition and gave himself up, reports NEWS and SENTINEL.