Published on: Thursday, October 13, 2022

A Florida jury decided to give the Parkland shooter who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School life in prison without parole, rather than a death sentence (article available here).

Nikolas Cruz, 24, pleaded guilty last year to 17 charges of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder. The group of public defenders who represent Cruz asked the prosecution and the court to sentence him to 17 life sentences. Their request was rejected. The question facing jurors now was whether Cruz would spend the rest of his life in prison or be sentenced to death. Prosecutors pushed for the death sentence.

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.

Several people in the courtroomshook their heads in disbelief as it became clear that the jury had recommended a life sentence for Cruz rather than the death penalty.