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Federal Death Penalty Sought for Robert Gregory Bowers in 2018 PA Synagogue Shooting - Page 5
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Thread: Federal Death Penalty Sought for Robert Gregory Bowers in 2018 PA Synagogue Shooting

  1. #41
    Moderator Ryan's Avatar
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    2 Congregations Want Synagogue Killer To Serve Life, Avoid Death Penalty

    PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – They don’t want a trial or an execution. In letters to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, they won’t even dignify the accused killer by name.

    But two of the three congregations who worshipped at Tree of Life want Robert Bowers to be put away for life without parole and never heard from again.

    “Let him stew for as long as he lives. That is suitable punishment,” said Stephen Cohen of the New Light Congregation.

    U.S. Attorney W. Scott Brady is seeking the death penalty, charging Bowers with obstruction of an exercise of religious belief resulting in death — a hate crime which could merit execution under the federal system.

    But defense attorney Judy Clarke has offered a guilty plea in exchange for life for Bowers.

    https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2019...death-penalty/
    "How do you get drunk on death row?" - Werner Herzog

    "When we get fruit, we get the juice and water. I ferment for a week! It tastes like chalk, it's nasty" - Blaine Keith Milam #999558 Texas Death Row

  2. #42
    Senior Member Frequent Poster NanduDas's Avatar
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    But defense attorney Judy Clarke has offered a guilty plea in exchange for life for Bowers.
    If the evidence of guilt is as strong as it is here and the scum is trying to strike a deal for life, then the prosecutors should be even more motivated to go for death.
    "The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer." -Theodore Roosevelt

  3. #43
    Junior Member Stranger Carlos's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Mike;115255]
    I don't believe that he will get the death penalty since to me this guy appears to be insane. However juries in western PA are generally more conservative than the eastern part so he may get it.
    -------
    11 murders plus a political motivation, the callous statements and complete indifference to the destruction he has caused, I honestly find it unlikely he will NOT get the death penalty, the only scenario I can see him not getting the death penalty is a person who lies when asked if they're open to the death penalty (i.e. a 'plant' if you will), there really is no mitigating evidence in this case, and even if some is sculpted up from the ground the sheer number of murders will put it into insignificance. Also, being fervent in a political ideology is not 'insanity', I'd say he is eccentric but that does not necessarily mean incoherence, his association with the alt-right online movement shows his well-defined beliefs, he is most certainly not aimless in this attack.

  4. #44
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Prosecutors will seek death penalty for Tree of Life shooting

    By WPXI News

    PITTSBURGH - Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against the man accused of killing 11 people inside the Tree of Life synagogue last fall.

    Robert Bowers allegedly went into the Squirrel Hill house of worship and opened fire on Saturday morning, Oct. 27.

    Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it will seek the death penalty against Bowers.

    https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-storie...ting/979575933
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  5. #45
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Court filings show prosecutors rejected Robert Bowers plea offer for life in prison

    By Megan Guza
    Trib Live

    Federal prosecutors rejected an offer from accused Tree of Life synagogue gunman Robert Bowers to plead guilty in exchange for life in prison, according to court documents filed Tuesday in federal court.

    Defense attorneys for Bowers have said from the beginning they hope to resolve the charges without going to trial. He is accused of killing 11 worshippers and injuring a half-dozen other people, including four police officers.

    Bowers attorneys noted the governments rejection of a plea deal in filings entered in response to prosecutors push to set a trial date.

    The U.S. Attorneys Office declined to comment on the recent filings.

    Prosecutors in the case last month filed a motion asking the judge to intervene and force the defense to agree to a schedule. The proposed draft schedule would have jury selection for Bowers, who faces 63 federal charges and the death penalty, begin Sept. 14, 2020.

    Defense counsel which includes Judy Clarke and public defenders Elisa Long and Michael Novara wrote in response to the draft schedule that such a timeline is unrealistic and fails to account for the time-consuming work of investigating and presenting the history and background of a person on trial for his life, as well as the slew of legal issues that come in the lead-up to the trial.

    Defense attorneys also noted that jury selection on Sept. 14 would place the trial during the Jewish High Holy Days and put a possible penalty phase, where jurors would decide whether Bowers would be put to death, near the time of the second-year mark of the Oct. 27 shooting.

    Bowers is accused of opening fire on Shabbat services at the synagogue, which housed the congregations Tree of Life or LSimcha, Dor Hadash and New Light.

    Prosecutors argued in their initial filing that the victims of the Oct. 27 attack deserve timely justice.

    Defense attorneys responded by noting the judge should consider that this case would already be over if attorneys had accepted Bowers offer to plead guilty in exchange for life in prison with no chance of parole.

    Instead, and against the publicly expressed request of two of the congregations to resolve this case without a trial, the government has insisted on pursuing the death penalty, the defense team wrote.

    Leaders of congregations Dor Hadash and New Light had previously called on Attorney General William Barr to keep the death penalty off the table in hopes of forgoing the trauma of a drawn-out trial.

    Defense attorneys also argued that the proposed trial schedule would put proceedings at the tail end of the 2020 presidential election, in which they predicted Pennsylvania will likely be a battleground state.

    (Donald Trump) having already publicly called for our clients execution may be expected to politicize this case again and pollute the potential jury pool, Bowers attorneys wrote.

    Defense counsel proposed their own potential deadlines, noting that they continue to wrestle with discovering issues with prosecutors. Their proposed deadlines include filing all discovery motions and an Aug. 10 status conference to set future dates for resolving other issues, including venue, jury selection and jury instructions.

    https://triblive.com/local/pittsburg...on-plea-offer/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  6. #46
    Senior Member Frequent Poster Mastro Titta's Avatar
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    Judge declines to set Bowers capital trial date, says she'll do it only after all motions are resolved

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose on Thursday said she'll set a trial date for Robert Bowers, accused of killing 11 at Tree of Life synagogue last year, only after all pre-trial motions are resolved.

    The Justice Department had requested a trial date be set for next year at this time, but the defense objected and so did two Jewish congregations at Tree of Life because they said it would conflict with the Jewish holidays.

    Judge Ambrose agreed with the defense and the congregations, saying she doesn't set trial dates in any of her cases until she's sure there won't be delays.

    "I don't want to move the trial date," she told both sides.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Soo Song had argued that the government's request for a date next October was an attempt to spare the victims' families from unreasonable delays.

    She also said that the trial wouldn't conflict with the Jewish holidays because jury selection alone will take weeks or possibly months, considering that the Justice Department is seeking the death penalty.

    But Judge Ambrose said she will not schedule the trial during the holidays and will wait until all pre-trial issues are done.

    "I'm just not sure when that will be," she said, but promised to keep the case moving.

    To that end, she gave the defense until mid-December to file constitutional challenges to the death penalty as well as other motions regarding discovery issues.

    The prosecution will have another month to respond.

    https://www.post-gazette.com/news/cr...s/201910310174

  7. #47
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Judge sides with prosecution in legal battles over Pittsburgh synagogue shooting case

    By Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    The federal judge overseeing the prosecution of accused Squirrel Hill synagogue shooter Robert Bowers has sided with the prosecution in disputes over discovery, saying the defense has not presented any evidence to support its contention that the Justice Department is not adhering to its pretrial obligations.

    Lawyers for Mr. Bowers have been sparring with the prosecution team for months over access to evidence and other issues in the capital case, in which Mr. Bowers is accused of killing 11 congregants at Tree of Life in October 2018.

    The lawyers said in one motion that the Justice Department has engaged in a pattern of misapprehending its discovery obligations by not turning over everything it has to the defense, including information favorable to Mr. Bowers.

    But U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose said it doesn't have to.

    In an order filed Tuesday, the judge denied a motion to force the government to provide the defense with all the originals of the physical evidence and an index of everything the FBI has collected.

    The U.S. attorney's office said it has given the defense all appropriate material and the defense isn't entitled to the entire case file.

    The judge agreed.

    [Mr. Bowers] has not provided this court with any reason to infer that the government has failed to disclose exculpatory or evidence otherwise material to preparing the defense, she ruled.

    She said she appreciates the lawyers frustration with discovery limitations, but the defense hasn't cited any statutes or case law to support its claim that discovery should be expanded beyond the normal rules governing federal cases.

    As in any federal prosecution, she said in citing case law, the defense has no right to search the government's entire file.

    Contrary to the defendants assertions, she wrote, I am not persuaded that the government has demonstrated a pattern of misapprehending its discovery obligations.

    In a related matter, Judge Ambrose also denied a defense motion for a broad protective order to keep the government from reviewing all of Mr. Bowers jail records, ruling that she would place off limits only records pertaining to his legal defense or his health.

    The government has said it isn't seeking those records anyway.

    Prosecutors do, however, want access to any logs noting Mr. Bowers' behavior in jail, any statements he's made, records of visits by anyone other than his lawyers, calls and mail, and his commissary records.

    https://www.post-gazette.com/news/cr...s/201911260125
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  8. #48
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Judge Denies Motion To Drop Hate Crimes Charges Against Synagogue Shooting Suspect Robert Bowers

    The attorneys sought to get two charges dropped, but a federal judge denied the motion

    By Lisa Washington
    CBS Pittsburgh

    PITTSBURGH (KDKA) A federal judge has denied a motion from the defense attorneys of Robert Bowers, who is the suspect in the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, to have some of the charges against him dropped.

    Bowers defense argued to have charges related to the Hate Crimes Protection Act and the Church Arson Act dismissed.

    He has been in custody since the October 2018 massacre inside Tree of Life in Squirrel Hill, which left 11 people dead. His attorneys argued the Hate Crime Prevention Act and the Church Arson Act infringe on powers reserved for the states, not the federal government.

    Theyre making an age-old federalism argument, said Constitution Law professor Jalila-Jefferson Bullock. The problem with that argument is that there is ample Supreme Court precedent, ample federal court precedent that says that Congress, in fact, acted appropriately.

    Jefferson-Bullock said the federal government can uphold the Hate Crimes Protection Act in Bowers case.

    She added, Its pretty well settled in law that the courts have taken a very expansive view on what race means for 13th Amendment purposes.

    The attorneys argued since the victims were all Jewish, and were not subjected to slavery or bias in the United States, the hate crime charge was not applicable in this case. The Hate Crimes Prevention Act was authorized by the 13th Amendment.

    U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose issued a 20-page opinion, denying the motion, noting that the 13th Amendment was not meant solely for African slavery.

    Jefferson-Bullock said presenting the motion aggravates the charges Bowers faces.

    What it does do is aggravate his charges, she said. This is a hate crimes enhancement, so hes going to face larger jail time, different questions during his trial.

    If hes convicted in Federal Court, Bowers faces the death penalty.

    https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020...arges-dropped/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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