A jury from Broward County, Florida has recommended that Parkland shooter, Nikolas Cruz gets life in prison, and not the death penalty for the horrific death of 17 people.
It was earlier expected that Cruz will get the death penalty but the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict in this trial and concluded with the life in prison verdict.
Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer announced the sentencing for Nov. 1st when victims of this shooting will deliver their statements.
This verdict came in on the second day of deliberations, 15 minutes after the jurors examined the gun that Cruz used in this shooting.
Cruz, now 24 years old pleaded guilty to the murder of 14 students and three staff members at Parkland’s Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School. The horrific shooting that took place on February 14th, 2018. According to his testimony, he chose this date so that the school can never celebrate Valentine’s Day again.
On the day, Cruz fired volleys from his semi-automatic AR15-style rifle from down the hallways into the classrooms for around seven minutes and later returned to the wounded to kill them.
His testimony further revealed that he purchased the rifle exactly a year prior to the shooting, and began planning the shooting around seven months prior to the incident.
In the middle of the deliberations, the jurors were called back into the courtroom to listen to the testimony from two doctors who explained the mental state of Cruz at the time.
During the trial which lasted for around three months, the prosecution played multiple video clips of the shooting and the immediate aftermath of the incident and showed the jurors the horrific scene of crime and murders committed by Cruz.
Teachers and students from the school also testified about their experience and seeing their friends and colleagues dead on the floor. Parents of the victims also delivered emotional statements during this three-month-long trial.
Cruz’s chief attorney, Melisa McNeill, and her team laid the arguments and shared details about Cruz’s biological mother and how her heavy drinking during pregnancy left the defendant with a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
While issues with his biological mother existed, his adoptive mother was also unable to cope with Cruz’s mental and emotional deficits, and the issues were never properly treated according to McNeill’s testimony to the jurors.
Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor and gun rights activist Kyle Kashuv tweeted after the jury’s verdict, “Should have gotten the death penalty.”
Should have gotten the death penalty
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) October 13, 2022
The same views were reflected by Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis who expressed his disappointment in his latest press conference
BREAKING: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reacts to the recommendation of a life sentence for Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz — ripping the justice system for "not serving the interest of victims." pic.twitter.com/lA0AqbA9Ef
— Newsmax (@newsmax) October 13, 2022
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