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Alleged Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter Robert Bowers Appointed New Attorney

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The man accused in the shooting and killing of eleven people at the Tree of Life Synagogue now has new legal representation.

Judy Clarke has been appointed as additional counsel for defendant Robert Bowers. Clarke has represented many defendants charged in cases like this one, that shook the Pittsburgh community to its core.

Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Tuscon shooter Jared Loughner and Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev all have something in common: they were all represented by Attorney Judy Clarke.

"Judy Clarke is not only a great criminal lawyer, but she's a specialist in death penalty matters," said criminal defense attorney Paul Boas.

Clarke is the past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and because of her expertise in capital cases, the United States District Court four the western district of Pa. has appointed her to be one of Robert Bowers' attorneys.

Robert Bowers, 46, is accused of killing eleven people and wounding six others in a shooting rampage at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018. He is facing 44 criminal charges, 32 of which carry a maximum penalty of death. Bowers requested counsel knowledgeable in the law the applies to capital cases. This is a specialized role, not every attorney would be qualified to undertake.

"The state court, for example in Pennsylvania, every year a person has to have a certain number of hours of continuing legal education in the specialized area of capital punishment cases, and a similar process in federal court," said Boas.

Bowers is represented by the federal public defender's office, and now because of Clarke's capital case expertise, she will serve as additional legal counsel on his case.

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