The jury in the Parkland shooting case voted Tuesday in favor of life in prison without parole for Nikolas Cruz, the confessed perpetrator of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, who claimed the lives of 17 people14 students and three staff members.
The jury, made up of seven men and five women, decided that the 24-year-old – who pleaded guilty to the massacre in this town located northwest of Fort Lauderdale, about 80 kilometers from the city of Miami – spend the rest of your life in jailas requested by his defense, and not the death penalty as the lead prosecutor in the case had suggested.
To reach that decision, each member of the jury he had to vote 17 times, once for each victim. Thus, they unanimously found that the aggravating factors were sufficient to justify a possible death sentence. However, the jury found that the mitigating factors outweighed the aggravating factors.
The day before, the main prosecutor in the case, Mike Satz, requested the death sentence against Cruz, arguing that he “persecuted his victims” for seven minutes, shooting at point blank range and returning to the place where some bodies were found to end their lives “while they lay defenseless.”
For her part, the defense attorney, Melisa McNeill, in her final argument, argued that Nicholas Cruz “He is a brain damaged, broken and mentally ill person, through no fault of his own”, since he was affected, “poisoned” in his words, because his mother used drugs and drank alcohol when she was pregnant with him.
Cruz, a former student at the institute where he carried out the shooting with an automatic assault rifle that also injured 15 people, he has been described by his classmates as a social misfit and troublemaker who was fascinated with Firearms.