Jury Reaches Decision in Parkland Shooting Case
(UnitedVoice.com) – Last October, Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty to carrying out the 2018 Parkland, Florida, massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people and wounded 17 more. The murderer, now 24, and the jury sat through a months-long trial in which students, teachers, and families shared details of the events of that tragic day. Finally, this month, jurors decided Cruz’s fate.
On Thursday, October 13, the Florida jury recommended that Cruz receive life in prison without parole as punishment for 17 counts of attempted murder and 17 charges of premeditated murder. The prosecution advocated for the shooter to receive the death penalty, but Florida law requires a unanimous panel decision, and three jurors disagreed.
In the coming weeks, Cruz’s living victims will share their testimony about the day and recommend what they believe is the appropriate sentence. However, state law prevents Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer from overriding the jury’s decision to impose a death sentence.
Reacting to the news, family members expressed their anger and disbelief over the sentence. According to NPR, Ilan Alhadeff, the father of victim Alyssa Alhadeff, emphasized this verdict “set a precedent for the next mass killing, that nothing happens to you.”
After the #Parkland verdict @fred_guttenberg said: "I'm not often stunned, but I am stunned…I could not be more disappointed." He added, "He will die in prison, and I will be waiting to read that news" https://t.co/9HyQ9w7ocw
— Emily Shapiro (@EmilyShapiroABC) October 13, 2022
As part of the defense, Cruz’s lawyers highlighted he was mentally ill since birth from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, noting the condition compromised his reasoning and behavior and arguing he should not receive the death penalty for acting upon a mental illness, over which he had no control.
Do you agree with the jury’s decision, or do you believe Cuz deserved the death penalty for his crimes?
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