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Federal prosecutors to seek death penalty in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting case

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Federal prosecutors said Monday they will seek the death penalty for a man charged with murdering 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue last October in the deadliest act of anti-Semitic violence in U.S. history, according to NBC News.

The accused gunman, Robert Bowers, has pleaded not guilty. He has a history of posting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories online and allegedly was armed with a Colt AR-15 rifle and three handguns when he allegedly opened fire in the Tree of Life synagogue in the city’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

{mosads}Authorities have said Bowers shouted anti-Semitic slurs during the massacre and later told police he wanted all Jews to die.

Prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, with U.S. Attorney Scott Brady beginning the process to secure approval from then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to pursue a capital case against Bowers on Oct. 29. The Monday filing formalizes their intentions.

Attorney General William Barr announced in July that the federal government will resume use of the death penalty for the first time in two decades. Only three federal executions have taken place since 1988. The five inmates the government announced will be given the federal death penalty were all convicted in the murders of children.

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