Prison consultant cross-examined by prosecutors in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting trial

The sentencing phase continues in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting trial.The prosecution and defense are laying out their cases for the jury to decide whether or not Roberts Bowers should be put to death for his crimes. In cross-examination Thursday, the prosecution sought to raise doubts about a defense witness’ claim Bowers would be held with tight restrictions at a supermax prison if he’s not sentenced to death.Defense witness Maureen Baird was back to testifying via Zoom. She had said Wednesday that she believes the only place Bowers could be held would be isolation ADX, that’s the only supermax high-security prison in the U.S.Baird is a prisons consultant who has worked for the Federal Bureau of PrisonsOn cross-examination, Baird acknowledged Bowers could actually qualify for a program for inmates over 50 that allows contact with other inmates.When pressed by prosecutor Nicole Wasquez Schmitt, Baird acknowledged she couldn’t say definitely where Bowers would be held. Baird also acknowledged ADX inmates do have access to tv programming, including news and ESPN, and will be getting digital tablets.The prosecutor had Baird read aloud a document that indicates ADX inmates have access to “bingo, trivia contests,” and other amenities. “there’s also a creative arts program” where inmates can have their art sold through a local fine arts center.”The prosecutor asked Baird if she knew ADX inmates would be getting “pet fish.” The witness said she didn’t know.The witness also acknowledged that Butler County Prison staff say Bowers appears to enjoy being by himself in the isolation unit there.

The sentencing phase continues in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting trial.

The prosecution and defense are laying out their cases for the jury to decide whether or not Roberts Bowers should be put to death for his crimes.

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In cross-examination Thursday, the prosecution sought to raise doubts about a defense witness’ claim Bowers would be held with tight restrictions at a supermax prison if he’s not sentenced to death.

Defense witness Maureen Baird was back to testifying via Zoom. She had said Wednesday that she believes the only place Bowers could be held would be isolation ADX, that’s the only supermax high-security prison in the U.S.

Baird is a prisons consultant who has worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons

On cross-examination, Baird acknowledged Bowers could actually qualify for a program for inmates over 50 that allows contact with other inmates.

When pressed by prosecutor Nicole Wasquez Schmitt, Baird acknowledged she couldn’t say definitely where Bowers would be held. Baird also acknowledged ADX inmates do have access to tv programming, including news and ESPN, and will be getting digital tablets.

The prosecutor had Baird read aloud a document that indicates ADX inmates have access to “bingo, trivia contests,” and other amenities. “there’s also a creative arts program” where inmates can have their art sold through a local fine arts center.”

The prosecutor asked Baird if she knew ADX inmates would be getting “pet fish.” The witness said she didn’t know.

The witness also acknowledged that Butler County Prison staff say Bowers appears to enjoy being by himself in the isolation unit there.

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