© Reuters. Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty shooter Nikolas Cruz enters the courtroom for the sentencing listening to in Cruz’s trial on the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, U.S. on Monday, Nov. 1, 2022. Amy Beth Bennett/Pool through REUTERS
(Reuters) – A Florida decide was as a result of formally sentence Nikolas Cruz, the person who killed 17 college students and workers with a semi-automatic rifle at a faculty in Parkland, to life in jail on Wednesday.
A jury voted final month to spare Cruz, 24, the demise penalty, as an alternative selecting life in jail with out chance of parole for one of many deadliest mass shootings in U.S. historical past.
Cruz pleaded responsible final 12 months to premeditated homicide, then confronted the three-month penalty trial earlier this 12 months.
Broward County Circuit Choose Elizabeth Scherer agreed to a prosecution request to first permit kinfolk of Cruz’s victims to deal with the court docket earlier than the sentence was handed down. The sentencing proceedings started on Tuesday with sufferer affect statements.
Various victims’ kinfolk castigated the jury’s resolution and criticized a state regulation requirement that each one 12 jurors be unanimous with a view to sentence a convicted particular person to be executed. Some kinfolk additionally chided Cruz’s protection legal professionals, who fruitlessly objected to the decide on Tuesday, noting that Cruz had a constitutional proper to authorized illustration.
Many victims’ kinfolk immediately addressed Cruz, who sat inscrutable behind giant spectacles and a COVID-19 masks at a desk alongside his public defenders. Anne Ramsay, the mom of 17-year-old Helena Ramsay, instructed him he was “pure evil;” Inez Hixon referred to as him a “home terrorist” for killing her father-in-law, faculty athletics director Chris Hixon.
Cruz was 19 on the time of his assault on Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty in Parkland, about 30 miles (50 km) north of the courthouse in Fort Lauderdale. He had been expelled from the varsity.
A number of the survivors went on to prepare a youth-led motion for tighter gun rules in the US, which has the best fee of personal gun possession on this planet and the place mass shootings have develop into recurrent.