Parkland Shooter Nikolas Cruz Spared by Jury

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz has been spared the death penalty and sentenced to life in prison by a Florida jury for carrying out the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that claimed 17 lives.

Cruz pleaded guilty last year to 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder in connection to the Feb. 14, 2018, killing of 14 students and three staff members at his former school. Among the victims were 15-year-old Peter Wang, an Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet who died while helping classmates escape, and 35-year-old Scott Beigel, a geography teacher who was shot dead while shepherding students to safety in his classroom.

This penalty phase trial was to determine if Cruz would be sentenced to death or life in prison for the massacre he committed at age 19. The jury’s decision must be unanimous for the death penalty.

Latest Developments

Oct 13, 12:00 PM

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz has been spared the death penalty and sentenced to life in prison by a Florida jury for carrying out the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that claimed 17 lives.

On all 17 counts, the jury found that aggravated factors did not outweigh the mitigating factors.

Mitigating factors presented at trial included arguments by Cruz’s attorneys that he suffered lifelong developmental delays that traced back to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

Cruz will return to court on Nov. 1 when surviving victims will be able to read statements.

Oct 13, 11:18 AM

Judge reads verdict forms

Judge Elizabeth Scherer read the 17 documents, one for each slain victim, aloud to the court on Thursday morning as prosecutors, Nikolas Cruz and his attorneys, and the victims’ families looked on.

So far, jurors have recommended life in prison without parole. The jurors weighed aggravating factors and mitigating factors, and jurors found that the aggravating factors did not outweigh mitigating factors.

Victims’ families are visibly upset in the courtroom.

Oct 13, 9:54 AM

Victims’ parents share emotional statements with jury

Victims’ parents took the stand during the trial to read emotional victim impact statements.

Fred Guttenberg, who lost 14-year-old daughter Jaime, said on the stand, “I couldn’t wait to teach her drive. … I couldn’t wait to see her graduate. I couldn’t wait to see her achieve her dream of getting into the University of Florida and rooming with her cousin and living her best life. I couldn’t wait to see her graduate and ultimately become a pediatric physical therapist, working her dream job.”MORE: Parkland families read statements through tears at penalty phase of gunman’s trial

“Jaime imagined she’d be married by 25. I used to think every day about that moment and walking my daughter down the aisle. Becoming a grandparent to the two kids she already decided she was gonna have,” he said.

“What if Jaime wasn’t murdered? What would these moments end up being like?” Fred Guttenberg said. “Not a day goes by where the constant image of Jaime walking down the aisle is not still a part of my daily imagination. Along with that image of what should have been her future, our future together.”

Oct 13, 9:47 AM

Defense says Cruz suffered lifelong developmental delays, prosecution says he planned ‘systematic massacre’

Cruz’s defense attorneys had urged the jury to sentence him to life in prison. The defense admitted Cruz was responsible for his actions and planned the school shooting, but argued Cruz suffered lifelong developmental delays that traced back to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

“Sentencing Nikolas to death will change absolutely nothing,” defense attorney Melisa McNeill said in closing arguments. “It will not bring back those 17 innocent victims that he viciously murdered.”

The prosecution, arguing for the death penalty, told jurors that Cruz researched previous mass shootings and planned a “systematic massacre.”MORE: Parkland school shooting 4 years later: Remembering the 17 victims

“Some of the remarks the defendant wrote on his YouTube were: ‘No mercy, no questions, double tap. I’m going to … murder children. … I’d love to see the families suffer,'” prosecutor Michael Satz said in closing arguments.

“He’s thinking ahead,” Satz said, by “not only looking to inflict pain” on the victims, but also “anticipating how that pain, fear and death … is gonna affect the families.”

4 thoughts on “Parkland Shooter Nikolas Cruz Spared by Jury

  1. A gross miscarriage of justice. Now the taxpayers of Florida will have to support this demon for the next 40 or more years. He knew damn well what he was doing- meticulously planned the attack, stocked up on ammo and guns and gear well in advance and knew to ditch his rifle and tactical vest in order to blend in to the fleeing students in order to make his escape. These actions show premeditated intent as well as a plan to flee the scene of the crime. The juror(s) who voted against the death penalty just spit in the eyes of the survivors of the murdered victims as well as those who survived the shooting.

  2. Send him to a federal “pound him up the butt prison . As to the defense attorney , sentencing him to death saves the taxpayers money . They should not have to support this guy for life . But then liberal bleeding hearts disagree of course , perhaps we should make them responsible for these killers , let them pay the costs of keeping this guy and others like him incarcerated .

  3. FAS my rear end! He KNEW what he was doing and the “defense” got him off…put him in GP and he’ll be passed around like a bag of peanuts before too long…He DESERVED the death sentence!

  4. Can he think ahead? Ask him what he prefers – life in prison, or death now to get it all over with? There are people who would prefer death now, as life ends anyway with death, so why suffer for many unknown years. – Right? –

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: