Judge grants motion to separate sentencing phase for Tree of Life suspect

  • In US
  • 2023-01-31 02:24:10Z
  • By WPXI

A judge granted a motion from the defense team of the suspect in the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill that will lengthen the sentencing phase of the trial if he is found guilty.

According to our partners at TribLIVE.com, the decision requires the prosecution to first argue why Robert Bowers is eligible for the death penalty before a second phase to present victim impact testimony.

RELATED >>> Tree of Life synagogue shooting: Robert Bowers trial on schedule, jury selection begins in April

If prosecutors presented victim impact testimony before the jury determines if Bowers is eligible to be put to death, the testimony could impact the jury's decision, Bowers' attorneys argued.

The government is expected to present victim impact testimony about all of the 11 people who were killed in the Oct. 2018 shooting.

Testimony is also expected regarding the 27 who were injured but survived the shooting. Twelve members of law enforcement were hurt in the shooting.

Jury selection is set for April 24.

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The defense team disclosed the conditions in a court filing on Monday.

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