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Death penalty trial to begin in Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooting

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(PITTSBURGH) — Jury selection is set to begin Monday for the federal death penalty trial of a man accused of shooting and killing 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Robert Bowers allegedly stormed the synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018, gunning down 11 victims, including a 97-year-old woman, in the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history.

Bowers, according to authorities, made posts on the social media site Gab and as early as July 2018 posted and reposted photos with antisemitic tropes. Bowers, according to a criminal complaint, told investigators after his arrest that he wanted to kill Jewish people.

Bowers faces charges including 11 counts of hate crimes resulting in death and has pleaded not guilty.

Antisemitic incidents in the U.S. reached an all-time high in 2022, according to a report from the Anti-Defamation League. The anti-hate and anti-bias advocacy group counted 3,697 antisemitic incidents last year — the highest total since the ADL began tabulating those incidents in 1979.

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