A 12-member jury is set to consider the fate of the Parkland, Florida school gunman who killed 17 and injured 17 others. The jury will either recommend life imprisonment or sentence the shooter to death.
Nikolas Cruz has been on trial for months for killing 14 students and three staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018. The lawyers presented their closing arguments for the case yesterday. A jury must be unanimous to recommend the death penalty, which many of the victims’ parents are hoping. Palm Beach County Attorney Dave Aronberg said: news week that he believes there is a “better than even chance” that the jury will sentence Cruz to death.
The jury must vote unanimously on only one aggravating factor to sentence Cruz to death, and weigh that aggravating factor against mitigating factors put forward by the defense, such as: B. Implications that the shooter was exposed to fetal alcohol abuse. Prosecutor Mike Satz presented several aggravating factors to the jury during the trial that would qualify the shooter for the death penalty, such as that the crime was particularly heinous and gruesome; be cold, calculated and premeditated; and against, among other things, a public official, e.g. B. a teacher committed.
Aronberg tells news week In the past, juries seem more likely to invoke the death penalty when a child is murdered. A death penalty conviction is a challenge, and Aronberg said Palm Beach County has only been successful in one death penalty conviction in the past 20 years, although there are five or six death penalty applications a year. In that case, Marlin Joseph was sentenced to death for the murders of Kaladaa Crowell and her 11-year-old daughter, Kyra Inglett.
“When it comes to murdering children, that seems like a line that juries don’t want a defendant to cross,” Aronberg said. “So I think there’s a good chance here that Nikolas Cruz will get the death penalty. In order not to impose the death penalty after someone has slaughtered 17 innocent people, most of whom are children, when will it ever be imposed?”
Jury members were given instructions on their deliberations on Wednesday morning and will be sequestered pending a decision, which could take days. Even if the jury unanimously recommends the death penalty, the judge could instead sentence the shooter to life in prison, but Aronberg said there was a “zero percent chance” that the judge would spare the shooter if the jury voted in favor of death. If the jury votes to sentence the shooter to death, he will join 330 other death row inmates awaiting execution at Florida State Prison.
Since 1976, 99 inmates have been executed on Florida’s death row, including several serial killers such as Ted Bundy, Gary Bowles, and Aileen Wuornos. It takes years for a death row inmate to be executed as his lawyers exhaust every appeal before execution. Aronberg said this delays the closure for victims’ families.
“It can take years [before execution] This is very frustrating for the families involved because they want closure and endure years of appeals,” Aronberg said prosecutors don’t have to do it again.”
If the jury sentences the shooter to life in prison, Aronberg said the defense could not appeal the conviction.
https://www.newsweek.com/parkland-shooter-death-penalty-likelihood-florida-state-attorney-dave-aronberg-1751320 ‘Good shot’ parkland shooter faces death penalty: FL prosecutor