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Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter Receives Death Penalty

Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter Receives Death Penalty

By RZR News Team
Aug 06, 2023

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The recent decision to sentence the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter to death is both just and necessary. The heinous nature of his crime, the loss of innocent lives and the impact on the victims’ families warrant the harshest punishment under the law.

The attack on the Pittsburgh synagogue was an act of unspeakable horror, threatening the religious freedom that is fundamental to the United States’ founding principles. In the face of such egregious violence, the death penalty serves as a means of upholding justice and ensuring that those responsible face the full consequences of their actions.

The case of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter also underscores the broader need for the death penalty in America. In particularly heinous crimes, where the intent is to cause immense harm and instill fear in innocent citizens, life imprisonment alone may not suffice as an appropriate deterrent or punishment. The death penalty sends a powerful message that such acts of violence will not be tolerated in society. 

A strong justice system that protects the innocent, upholds the rule of law and provides closure to victims and their families is salient to the stability of society. While one can recognize the importance of ensuring due process and safeguarding against wrongful convictions, the death penalty, when applied with care and rigorous scrutiny, serves as a critical tool in achieving justice and maintaining law and order.

Ultimately, this case highlights the broader importance of the death penalty in America, providing a powerful deterrent against heinous crimes and a means of ensuring justice for the victims and their families. 

Learn more about the conservative viewpoint

In October 2018, a gunman opened fire in a synagogue while people prayed. He killed 11 parishioners of the Pittsburgh temple – additionally, 7 others were injured. Such an attack remains the worse antisemitic in U.S. history. Furthermore, this is only the second death penalty sentencing in the past three years. 

This is a day for justice. A day firmly and unequivocally saying that hate crimes are among the worst types of crimes. It spits in the face of all that America was, is and will continue to be. Unfortunately, hate crimes in the United States, especially when it comes to Jewish Americans, are prevalent. Antisemitic attacks constitute more than half of all hate crimes committed, despite making up roughly 2% of the U.S. population. Furthermore, reports of antisemitism in U.S. universities are nearly continuous.

This is a dangerous and pressing situation that needs addressing, thoroughly. It does not help that many of the supposed allies of equality and inclusivity are themselves, bigots. The Democratic party has a dark streak of antisemitism which has emerged more frequently in recent years. 

Words speak loudly, actions more so. We all know what Ilhan Omar and her “squad” has said about Jews and Israel – “It’s all about the benjamins” or “Israel has hypnotized the world” or “If you open the curtain…it’s the same people who make money…” as Rhasida Tlaib said of Israel. When it comes to acting, the “squad” has been louder. They boycotted Israeli President Issac Herzog when he addressed Congress. They voted to deny financial support to Israel. Their actions directly endanger American Jews. Their existence in Congress endangers this nation’s future – they inspire millions of young Americans who soak up this rhetoric. Their words and existence are antithetical to the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the 14th Amendment. But do not take that from me, take it from a House resolution condemning Ilhan Omar over antisemitism, “[she] reflects negatively on the House of Representatives.”

Antisemitism in the U.S. is rising. It kills Americans. It is corrosive, vile and abhorrent. Those who perpetrate such acts deserve serious repercussions, including the death penalty. 

– William J. Goldman  

Learn more about the independent viewpoint

After a 2018 massacre that claimed 11 lives in a Pittsburgh synagogue, shooter Robert Bowers was sentenced to death on Aug 2, 2023. This sentence is once again raising the important, yet controversial issue, of capital punishment that this country has been dealing with for generations. 

The idea of sentencing someone to death has not been something that Americans have come to a consensus on. In a 2021 poll conducted by Pew Research, approximately 61% of Americans surveyed claimed to somewhat support or strongly support the death penalty, whereas the remaining 39% somewhat or strongly oppose it. An interesting finding from that poll, however, is that 76% of people surveyed believed that having the death penalty comes with the inherent risk of taking the life of an innocent person. 

Although the argument that the death penalty is capable to taking the lives of wrongly convicted or unfairly-sentenced people is legitimate, there should be no concern for applying it to this case. Americans do not need to question if the man who committed the most violent of hate crimes is actually innocent. 

Nevertheless, the massacre in Pittsburgh presents us with the opportunity to discuss whether there are some crimes in which the perpetrator loses their right to life. For the highest degree of crimes, some might argue that the person who committed the crime has shown such a gross indifference to human life that there is no conceivable rationale for allowing them to remain alive. 

On the other hand, national organizations that oppose the death penalty, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), argue that too many disparities are “baked” into the justice system and, therefore, the death penalty only impacts those who do not have the financial means to obtain adequate defense.  

Sooner or later, state legislatures need to decide what the future of capital punishment will look like. If they choose to take the approach of the ACLU, then we will likely see the death penalty abolished. If not, then we could be looking at the continuation of a system that a significant portion of Americans do not support.

Learn more about the liberal viewpoint

From Nathan Hale’s eloquent “I only regret that I have but only life to lose for my country” when being hung by the British in 1776, to John Wayne Gacy’s more brusque, “Kiss my ass.” Final words can reflect a life well lived; or in someone like Gacy’s case, reflect a tasteless lack of remorse. Now one may wonder where Robert Bowers will fall on this spectrum. 

In 2018 Robert Bowers opened fire at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh killing eleven people, injuring seven more, and of those seven, five were police officers answering the call of duty. After finding him guilty on all 63 charges brought against him, the same jury instituted the death penalty against Bowers as well. 

The method of execution has changed over the years, from the firing squad to the electric chair, to what some consider the most humane form, lethal injection. Lethal injection will be the most likely way Bowers will be executed, with three different sets of drugs being administered to first sedate him, then paralyze his body, and finally stop his heart forever.  

Capital punishment has remained a controversial part of the justice system as it raises the question of whether or not we as a people are justified in taking the life of any human being, even those who commit the most heinous crimes like Bowers. 

On the one hand, Bowers killed eleven innocent people and injured seven more in a crime that was motivated by religious intolerance. More than that, Bowers has caused grief to the victims’ families and prevented them from living longer lives. Therefore it is justified to bring the families a sense of closure by robbing Bowers of his chance at life as well. Plus it does not benefit anyone for Bowers to rot in a cell until the date of his execution. 

On the other hand, a teacher in high school once posed me this question about the death penalty: “Why do we kill people, who kill people, because killing people is wrong?” Furthermore, one could say it is an overstep into a territory of authority that does not belong to humanity. Even if someone like Bowers commits a horrible crime against humanity, does that vest us with the power to say, “You have given up your personal right to life?”

Learn more about the libertarian viewpoint