Florida High School Shooter Penalty Trial Begins

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (AP) — Florida school shooter Nicholas Cruz’s penalty trial begins with a jury opening statement and first evidence of the 2018 massacre. 14 students and 3 staff He died at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Panel of 7 and 5 women, You’ll hear from Chief Prosecutor Mike Sats, who is expected to emphasize Cruz’s brutality when he stalks, supported by 10 substitutes. A three-story classroom building, He fired his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle from the hallway towards the classroom. Cruz Sometimes he returned to the injured victims and killed them in a second burst of fire.

Cruz, 23, Convicted in October Up to 17 counts of primary murders. He is only fighting for the death sentence that the prosecutor is seeking. The jury can only declare him dead or alive in the shooting on February 14, 2018, without the possibility of parole. The trial of a former Stoneman Douglas student, expected to last about four months, was scheduled to begin in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic and court battle delayed it.

The defense counsel does not state when to make the opening statement, that is, when the proceedings will begin, or when the proceedings will begin to be presented in the coming weeks. The latter strategy is rare and dangerous because the jury examines horrific evidence and gives the prosecution a sole say before hearing tragic testimony from the parents and spouse of the survivors and victims of the shooting.

When lead defender Melisa McNeil makes her statement, she emphasizes that Cruz is a young adult with lifelong emotional and psychological problems allegedly suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome and abuse. Probably. The goal is to relieve the jury’s feelings when he hears the prosecution’s case and to make the jury more open to later reviewing the defense’s allegations.

Parkland shootings are the deadliest to reach trial in American history. The other nine shooters, who killed at least 17 people, died during or shortly after the shooting, either by suicide or by police shooting.Suspect 23 people killed in El Paso, Texas in 2019 Walmart is waiting for a trial.

The first witness of the prosecutor is summoned after the opening, each limited to 90 minutes. They aren’t saying who it will be.

When the jury finally filed a proceeding this fall, he will vote 17 times on the question of whether to recommend the death penalty. That is, once for each victim.

All votes must be unanimous. A unanimous vote for any of the victims means that Cruz’s sentence against that person will be life imprisonment. Jury trials say that the worsening situation the prosecution presented to the victims in question in order to vote for the death penalty needs to “exceed” the mitigation factors presented by the defense in their judgment.

Regardless of the evidence, any jury can vote for life imprisonment with mercy. During the jury trial selection, the panelists stated that they could vote on either sentence under the oath.