New Light Congregation co-presidents Barbara Caplan and Stephen Cohen are requesting a change to the trial date for the alleged perpetrator of last October’s attack. In an Oct. 16 letter to the Honorable Donetta W. Ambrose, senior district judge, U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, Caplan and Cohen strongly opposed the Sept. 14, 2020 trial date proposed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“The trial would start four days before Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur in 2020, which is the holiest season of the year,” wrote the co-presidents. “These holy days are a time of great introspection and spiritual preparation, as well as complex logistical operations, made even more challenging because of the displacement of our congregation from our traditional home. While we expect the trial to be very difficult for the families of the deceased victims, witnesses and members of the congregation at any time of the year, starting the trial four days prior to this holy season will bring significant and unnecessary pain and hardship to all involved.”
Caplan and Cohen proposed a start date no sooner than November 2020, as Simchat Torah concludes on Oct. 11, 2020, and the second year commemoration of the attack will occur 16 days later.
The letter to Judge Ambrose was approved by New Light’s executive committee on Oct. 16, noted Cohen. pjc
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