Jurors put together to deliberate on sentencing for Parkland shooter By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College shooter Nikolas Cruz speaks with paralegal Melissa Sly throughout a break within the penalty part of Cruz’s trial on the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S., September 1, 2022. Cruz previou

By Brian Ellsworth

MIAMI (Reuters) -Prosecutors portrayed the person who killed 17 folks at a Florida highschool in 2018 as a calculating and brutal assassin, whereas his protection lawyer pleaded for mercy earlier than jurors start deliberating on whether or not he ought to be sentenced to loss of life.

Nikolas Cruz, 24, pleaded responsible final 12 months to premeditated homicide at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College in Parkland, about 30 miles (50 km) north of Fort Lauderdale. The Valentine’s Day faculty taking pictures was among the many deadliest in U.S. historical past.

The 12-member jury will start sequestered deliberations on Wednesday. Broward County Circuit Decide Elizabeth Scherer really useful that jurors take “no less than just a few days” of clothes and drugs.

Prosecutor Michael Satz argued Cruz’s crime was heinous and premeditated, insisting that aggravating components outweigh arguments for leniency.

“He was taking pictures the children within the classroom that have been hiding or trying to cover,” Satz stated.

The penalty part of the trial, which has lasted almost three months, has included testimony from survivors of the taking pictures in addition to mobile phone movies wherein terrified college students cried for assist or spoke in hushed whispers as they hid.

Cruz’s protection lawyer stated he shouldn’t be sentenced to loss of life, citing components akin to psychological well being issues ensuing from his organic mom’s substance abuse throughout being pregnant.

“There is no such thing as a time in our life after we are extra weak to the desire and the whim of one other human being than after we are rising and growing within the womb of our moms,” stated Melisa McNeill, Cruz’s lead public defender.

Cruz was 19 and had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas on the time of the bloodbath. In his responsible plea, he stated he was “very sorry” and requested to be given an opportunity to assist others.

U.S. gun violence has gained renewed consideration following mass shootings in Might at a faculty in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 youngsters and two academics useless, and one other, additionally in Might, at a grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, that killed 10 folks.

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