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October 13, 2022

Jury recommends LWOP sentence for Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz

As reported in this NPR piece, a state "jury has recommended that the shooter who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., be sentenced to life in prison."  Here is more:

Nikolas Cruz, 24, pleaded guilty last year to 17 charges of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder. The question facing jurors now was whether Cruz would spend the rest of his life in prison or be sentenced to death. Cruz carried out the massacre on Valentine's Day in 2018. He was 19 at the time, and had been expelled from the school. He entered a school building through an unlocked side door and used an AR-15-style rifle to kill 14 students and three staff members, as well as wound 17 others.

Jurors began deliberations on Wednesday. Late that day, the jury asked to see the murder weapon. On Thursday morning, the jury said it had come to a recommendation on a sentence, about 15 minutes after the jurors were able to examine the weapon, according to The Associated Press.

Prosecutors had pushed for the death sentence. In closing arguments Tuesday, lead prosecutor Mike Satz told jurors that Cruz had hunted his victims during his siege of the school, returning to some of those he'd wounded to shoot them again, and kill them....

In laying out their defense, lawyers for Cruz presented testimony from counselors and a doctor who say the defendant suffers from a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, a condition that they argued affects his reasoning and behavior. Witnesses testified that his birth mother, Brenda Woodard, had abused alcohol and cocaine while she was pregnant with him....

Cruz's rampage is the deadliest mass shooting to go to trial in the U.S., according to The Associated Press. In other attacks in which 17 or more people were killed, the shooter was either killed by police or died by suicide. Still awaiting trial is the suspect in the 2019 shooting of 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

Some prior related posts:

October 13, 2022 at 12:00 PM | Permalink


I guess that'll moot out the inevitable challenges to the legality of the DP scheme.

Posted by: Da Man | Oct 13, 2022 12:53:22 PM

Da Man - that was my first thought too - guess we won't have to see or hear on-going litigation for years on the death penalty had the jury recommended it.

That being said, although Cruz gets life, the victim's families' will live the rest of their life on earth without their loved ones.

Posted by: atomicfrog | Oct 13, 2022 1:04:44 PM

A life outcome is always possible in capital cases. 9-3 this time. Don't believe any mis-information you may see about this being about a single-juror veto

Posted by: John | Oct 13, 2022 7:16:26 PM

I don't care what the vote breakdown was. Although I believe the death penalty is constitutional, I also don't buy the argument that there is some sort of injustice when a jury votes against the death penalty. The victims' families have to stop acting as if they had some sort of vested right to see the killer executed.

Posted by: Da Man | Oct 17, 2022 8:33:41 AM

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