A Pennsylvania prosecutor says he will ask US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to greenlight his request to pursue capital punishment for Robert Bowers, who gunned down worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Scott Brady, attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, said he launched a necessary legal procedure so prosecutors will be able to proceed with the maximum possible penalty in the case of Bowers, who has been charged with 29 criminal counts for the murder of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Brady is seeking authorization from Sessions to pursue the death penalty, AP reported.
Per US law, each federal death penalty case must be authorized by the AG upon consultation with local attorneys.
Brady said the investigation is in full swing and multiple search warrants have been issued as law enforcement aims to unearth all the circumstances behind the carnage.
Bowers is set to appear in court for the first time on Monday.
Bowers, 46, entered the synagogue armed with an AR-15 rifle and a Glock pistol during the Saturday service. Before going on the rampage, Bowers posted an anti-Semitic message on social media network Gab, popular with right-wing activists, extremist, and neo-fascists. Bowers’ feed on Gab was filled with anti-Semitic slurs, as well as insults directed at US President Donald Trump, who he believed was surrounded by “too many” Jews. Bowers claimed that he did not vote for Trump.
The synagogue massacre as well as the failed mail bomb plot by Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc, who sent 14 explosive devices – none of which worked – to high-profile Democrats, have further polarized the already volatile pre-midterm election environment in the US.