Tree Of Life Synagogue Shooter Appeals Sentence, Seeks New Trial

B| TOPSHOT - A woman stands at a memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue after a shooting there left 11 people dead in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on October 27. Mourners held an emotional vigil Sunday for victims of a fatal shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, an assault that saw a gunman who said he "wanted all Jews to die" open fire on a mostly elderly group. Americans had earlier learned the identities of the 11 people killed in the brutal assault at the Tree of Life synagogue, including 97-year-old Rose Mallinger and couple Sylvan and Bernice Simon, both in their 80s.Nine of the victims were 65 or older. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) F| Pittsburgh Police Department
B| (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) F| Pittsburgh Police Department

OAN’s Abril Elfi 
4:30 PM – Thursday, November 2, 2023

Robert Bowers, the man convicted for the Tree Of Life Synagogue shooting, has appealed his death sentence and requested a new trial.


On Thursday, federal documents released stated that Bowers is seeking a judgment of acquittal and a new trial. 

The appeal, which is 39 pages long, alleges prosecutors excluded potential jurors who were Black, Hispanic and Jewish.

The appeal also contends that there was insufficient evidence to indicate the shooter’s hate of the victims was “because they were religious or secular or engaged in religious practices.”

On October 7th, 2018, Bowers opened fire inside of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh during Shabbat morning services. According to authorities, the gunman entered the building with an AR-15 rifle and three handguns while yelling “All Jews must die!”

After killing 11 people and injuring seven others, Bowers was shot multiple times by officers and taken into custody. 

Even though attorneys for the gunman raised questions as to whether he was driven by hate or schizophrenia when carrying out the attack, prosecutors rejected the claim that the attack was related to mental health.

“It doesn’t make you schizophrenic to be happy about what you did. This defendant just happens to be White supremacist like many other White supremacists. They’re also not delusional, they’re just White supremacists,” a lawyer for the prosecution said during closing arguments.

The 50-year-old spent years posting hateful comments about immigrants and Jewish people on social media prior to the attack. He criticized migrants as “invaders” and repeatedly disparaged the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.

This case is the first federal death penalty imposed under the Biden administration even though his campaign included a pledge to end capital punishment. 

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