Death penalty still on table for Tree of Life shooter, judge rules

The main subject would-be jurors are being asked about is their position on capital punishment.


In an 11-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Robert Colville ruled that the defendant’s legal team in the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue shooting trial “fails entirely” to show that the government arbitrarily pursued the death penalty.

Attorneys for Robert Bowers, the defendant who is accused of carrying out the most lethal antisemitic attack in U.S. history, argued that the prosecution was acting arbitrarily by pursuing the death penalty against Bowers but not against those accused of other mass shootings.

So far, the court has interviewed 108 potential jurors since April 24 in a process expected to last weeks. So far, 36 have been chosen as eligible to serve. One of the primary questions for the jurors has been their views on the death penalty.

Reportedly, multiple would-be jurors were excluded for questioning whether capital punishment was moral, and another, who has anti-Jewish beliefs and mocked the synagogue shooting in online forums, was also dismissed.