As Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the nation are working to deal with a national tragedy in the wake of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, Gov. Tom Wolf is refusing to say whether or not alleged shooter Robert Bowers deserves the death penalty.
Currently, Gov. Wolf has implemented a moratorium on the carrying-out of the death penalty in Pennsylvania.
Responding to questions in a KDKA radio interview about whether Bowers deserves the death penalty and whether the moratorium should end, Wolf said:
"When it comes to the murder here, this anti-semitic violence was a heinous crime and Bowers deserves swift justice. He is being indicted under the federal statute and he should get the harshest penalty under the law.”
That response, which doesn’t directly answer whether or not Gov. Wolf believes Bowers deserves the death penalty, leaves open two possible scenarios: Either Gov. Wolf believes the death penalty is acceptable so long as Pennsylvania isn’t the one carrying it out or he does not believe Robert Bowers deserves the death penalty.
In stark contrast to Gov. Wolf, Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro, in an interview with CNN, agreed that the death penalty is appropriate in this case.
In response, Republican Party of Pennsylvania Communications Director Jason Gottesman, made the following statement:
“This atrocious hate crime demands that Tom Wolf come out in support of the death penalty as a possible punishment for alleged perpetrators like Robert Bowers.
“By refusing to directly answer the question about whether or not Robert Bowers deserves the death penalty and whether or not the death penalty moratorium should be lifted, Tom Wolf is showing how untenable his position is and that it does not align with Pennsylvania’s notion of justice.”