As juror selection continues into the third week of the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue mass-shooting trial in Pittsburgh, prosecutors of Robert Bowers will have the opportunity to rebut the defendant’s attorney’s anticipated claims of mental disorder.
While this debate has taken months, U.S. District Judge Robert Colville ruled on May 8 that the prosecution now could conduct a mental-health evaluation on Bowers with their own experts. The review of the lone gunman’s alleged psychological conditions will take place over four-and-a-half days with a maximum of six hours a day.
Colville wrote that “government mental health experts shall be permitted to examine the defendant as necessary and probative to rebut or confirm defense experts’ anticipated mental-health testimony.”
The defense claims that Bowers has schizophrenia, epilepsy and “structural and function impairments of the brain.”
Eleven Jewish worshippers, most of them elderly, were shot and killed in October 2018 during Shabbat-morning services in the deadliest U.S. antisemitic attack on record.