14 Jurors have reached a decision in the sentencing of Nikolas Cruz, who murdered 17 people and injured 17 others at Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School. After 7 hours of deliberation, the jury recommended life in prison without parole.
In 2018, Nikolas Cruz, now 24, used a semi-automatic rifle to kill 14 students and three staff workers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14. In 2021, Cruz pleaded guilty to the murders.
Now, a year later, a 12-person jury decided whether Cruz should be sentenced to death or serve life in prison. Even though prosecutors sought the death penalty, the jury agreed on life in prison without parole. While the defense for Cruz claimed Cruz was “broken and brain-damaged,” prosecutors said he was “hunting victims” and at one point went back to murder students Peter Yang and Joaquin Oliver, who initially weren’t filled from the first gunshots.
USA Today reports that the decision to sentence Cruz to death had to be unanimous, and apparently, at least one juror decided against it. Still, Circuit Judge Scherer will have the final say on November 1, when victims and relatives will have the opportunity to speak.
According to the Associated Press, the Parkland shooting is now the deadliest mass shooting in the United States.