Monday, August 7, 2023

What are the chances Tree of Life killer ever gets executed?

The old adage “Be careful what you wish for” is a reminder that decisions and plans may go awry even when they seem to come to fruition, reported Slate. Last week, the Biden administration got what it wanted when a jury voted to sentence Robert Bowers to death for perpetrating what the Washington Post reported was “ the highest-casualty antisemitic attack in the nation’s history.”

Now what?

The Bowers verdict adds a new wrinkle to the already confusing picture of the Biden administration’s position on the death penalty. Specifically, the administration doesn’t actually want to see Bowers executed.

Bowers will join the 41 other people on federal death row in Terre Haute, Indiana, pursue a lengthy appeals process, and hope that President Biden gets reelected or that he commutes all federal death sentences before leaving office.

2015 study suggests that the odds that someone like Bowers will actually be executed are very low. It found that nationwide, less than one in six defendants convicted of capital crimes were actually executed—most of the rest die in prison, while a few are eventually exonerated.

But this is likely just what the Biden administration was after—a death sentence infinitely deferred, a death sentence that would never be carried out.

Let’s recall the horror of what happened on Oct. 27, 2018, when Bowers killed 11 people and wounded other members of the congregations of three synagogues who were worshipping at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Bowers also shot and wounded several police officers who responded to news of the shooting.

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