Jewish Congregation Targeted by Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter Asks His Life Be Spared

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A man prays at a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue following a shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
A man prays at a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue following a shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Credit: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Don’t give the Pittsburgh synagogue gunman the death penalty.

That’s the request of one of the congregations based in the building targeted by the white supremacist who killed 11 worshippers in a 2018 attack.

The president of Congregation Dor Hadash, Bruce Herschlag, made the request of U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in a letter sent last week, the WESA radio station reported Friday. Garland is Jewish.

Justice in the ongoing trial of Robert Bowers, 49, should be achieved “in a manner that is both consistent with our religious values and that spares us from the painful ordeal of prolonged legal maneuvering,” Herschlag wrote in the June 17 letter.

“The imposition of multiple life sentences would ensure that the perpetrator is never released. This is the outcome we desire.”

Bowers is on trial for the killings on October 27, 2018 — the deadliest antisemitic attack on U.S. soil. Then-President Donald Trump said Bowers should get the death penalty.

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