Nikolas Cruz responsible for the Mass Shooting at Parkland | Gets Sentenced
Manage episode 347100226 series 2762618
#nikolascruz #parklandshooting #massshootings
In a South Florida courtroom, jurors stared straight ahead or gazed into their laps as their decision to recommend a lifelong prison sentence for Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz was read aloud in court on Thursday.
The group of jurors didn’t look in the direction of visibly emotional victims’ families, many of whom hoped the shooter would receive the death penalty after he pleaded guilty to massacring 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.
The jury’s decision punctuates a monthslong trial to determine whether Cruz, 24, would be sentenced to life in prison or be handed the death penalty, which would have required a unanimous decision from the jury. The judge is expected to issue the gunman’s formal sentence on November 1 and by law is unable to deviate from the jury’s recommendation of life.
Victims' families attend the trial of Nikolas Cruz in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on October 13, 2022.
Parkland school shooter avoids the death penalty after jury recommends life in prison
The deliberations became “tense” as jurors worked toward a conclusion, one jury member wrote in a handwritten letter to Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer. The juror, who ultimately voted against the death penalty, wrote that “some jurors became extremely unhappy once I mentioned that I would vote for life (in prison).”
Ultimately, three of the 12 jurors voted against recommending the death sentence, jury foreman Benjamin Thomas told CNN affiliate WFOR.
“There was one with a hard ‘no,’ she couldn’t do it. And there was another two that ended up voting the same way,” said Thomas. He explained that the woman who was a hard no “didn’t believe because he was mentally ill he should get the death penalty.”
Several family members of Cruz’s victims decried the jury’s decision as a cruel denial of the devastation that they have been forced to live with.
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