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Pittsburgh Synagogue Mass Shooting Culminates in Death Sentence

The individual responsible for the tragic 2018 Tree of Life synagogue mass shooting in Pittsburgh, which claimed the lives of 11 Jewish worshippers and left seven others injured, was handed a death sentence by a federal jury yesterday. The verdict is pending formal imposition by the judge.

Back in June, the same jury had already found the 50-year-old assailant guilty on 63 federal counts, 22 of which made him eligible for the death penalty (for a detailed timeline of the incident, see below). Throughout the sentencing trial, the prosecution advocating for capital punishment highlighted the defendant’s evident lack of remorse, attributing his heinous actions to deep-seated antisemitic prejudices. On the other hand, the defense put forward the argument of his troubled upbringing and probable mental illness, seeking a life sentence instead.

It’s worth noting that capital punishment is legal in 24 states across the United States. However, the Justice Department had temporarily halted federal executions in 2021. Despite this, a significant number of state-level executions took place this year, with 16 already carried out and 11 more scheduled, including the planned lethal injection of convicted murderer James Barnes in Florida tonight.

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