Jury Recommends Life Without Parole for Parkland School Shooter Nicolas Cruz
Fort Lauderdale - Thursday October 13, 2022: A jury of seven men and five women returned a recommendation of life in prison without the possibility of parole for Nikolas Cruz who has confessed to the February 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
The 24 year old pleaded guilty last year to fatally shooting 17 people and injuring 17 others at his former school on the afternoon of February 14th 2018.
This was a sentencing trial and the jury deliberated for less than a day before reaching their verdict rejecting the prosecution's case for the death penalty, and deciding instead that Cruz should spend the rest of his life in prison.
Judge Elizabeth Scherer presided over this sentencing trial which began in July. As she read the jury's decision family and friends of the victims inside the courtroom shook their heads, several began crying.
Cruz's defense argued, his brain was damaged before birth by his mother's substance abuse and therefore he should be spared the death penalty. The prosecution countered that the severity of Cruz’s crimes justified the death penalty.