Pittsburgh synagogue shooter sentenced to death

August 2, 2023
wooden gavel

Weigh it — and when you’re done, impose the only punishment that is sufficient under our law: A sentence of death.

U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Eric Olshan, in his closing statements two days before a jury unanimously decided that the gunman who killed 11 people at a Jewish synagogue in 2018 will receive the death penalty.

Why It Matters: The shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in 2018 is the most deadly antisemitic attack in United States history. On Wednesday in a federal trial, the 12-person jury sentenced the 50-year-old shooter shooter to death for his crimes (63 gun-related and hate-crime counts). The New York Times reports, "The judge will formally impose the sentence at a hearing on Thursday morning, when families of some victims are expected to address the court."

The victims of the shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue were Joyce Fienberg, 75; Rose Mallinger, 97; Richard Gottfried, 65; Daniel Stein, 71; Melvin Wax, 87; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Irving Younger, 69; husband and wife Bernice Simon, 84, and Sylvan Simon, 86; and brothers Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and David Rosenthal, 54. Read about the victims HERE.

Big Picture: Bowers and 40 others are on federal death row. Bowers' execution date is currently undetermined, with his lawyers expected to file appeals – extending the process for what could be years. Bowers is the first person to receive the death penalty by a federal jury since 2019.

Gunman who killed 11 in Pittsburgh synagogue sentenced to death

Tree of Life shooter to be sentenced to death for Pittsburgh synagogue massacre

Tree of Life Synagogue Victims Remembered as Guardians of Their Faith

by Jenna Lee,