For the bloodiest US high school massacre, Parkland shooter receives a life sentence.
how many people were killed in the parkland shooting ?
A year ago, Nikolas Cruz admitted culpability to the murders of 14 students and three employees at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
In the nation's bloodiest high school shooting, a Florida jury on Thursday ordered life in prison for a former student who killed 17 people.
When did the parkland shooting take place ?
On Valentine's Day 2018, Nikolas Cruz, 24, opened fire with an assault rifle resembling an AR-15 into a number of classrooms at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 14 students and three staff members and injuring 17 others.
Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Scherer decided that the life without parole sentence, which is now a formality, will be issued at a hearing on November 1 following the delivery of victim impact statements. A death sentence was being sought by the prosecution.
After seven and a half hours of deliberation, the jury of seven men and five women announced its decision. This came after a 60-day trial in which Cruz's defense team contended that his acts were the product of mental illness and brain damage brought on by fetal alcohol syndrome.
Cruz, who expressed his desire to commit a school shooting in videos and drawings he created prior to the incident, was accused of carefully planning the murders, according to the prosecution.
State counsel Mike Satz, claiming that Cruz had antisocial personality disorder, told the court in Fort Lauderdale that the slaughter was "goal-directed, deliberate, purposeful, and it was a methodical killing."
The jury determined that the existence of "aggravating elements," especially that the killings were carried out in a "cold, calculating, and calculated manner," had been established by the state on each of the 17 charges of first-degree murder beyond a reasonable doubt.
However, at least one juror in each case concluded that the defense's mitigation strategy outweighed the aggravating circumstances. Jurors would have needed to agree unanimously to sentence the defendant to death.
Family members of the victims, whose ages ranged from 13 to 49, attended the occasionally tense trial everyday and were there in court to hear the jury's decision, which was announced on Wednesday afternoon after the jury's deliberations began.
Alyssa Alhadeff's parents expressed their "disgust" that the murderer was awarded leniency. Alyssa is 14 years old.
After the hearing, her father, Ilan Alhadeff, spoke with the media and asked: "Why do we have the death penalty? What does it accomplish? Personal beliefs have no bearing on this. Your religious beliefs have no bearing on this. The horrible crime that was committed is the subject.
As the verdicts were given, some people sobbed and held one another. The 14-year-old Gina Montalto's father, Tony Montalto, later expressed to journalists his belief that the verdicts were "unreal."
"Today's decision came as yet another devastating blow to many of us. They were killed by a monster, who now lives another day. Does the fact that what's-his-name had a difficult background not trump the fact that [he] pushed the barrel of his pistol to my daughter's chest?
"Society needs to reconsider what and who constitutes a victim. The victims in this situation were my lovely Gina, the other sons, daughters, wives, and fathers. This shooter was not deserving of mercy.
The 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg's father, Fred Guttenberg, said: "Today's jury let our families down. The likelihood that the next mass shooting will occur is increased by this choice.
He should offer thanks to God that someone had love and mercy for him that he did not share with those other people, according to Debra Hixon, the widow of the school's 49-year-old sports director Chris Hixon.
"I hope he recognizes the gift that has been given to him. I don't think he'll.
Cruz, dressed in a multicolored sweatshirt and gray slacks, sat motionless for the majority of the hour-long hearing, periodically taking off his bulky eyeglasses, and once looking up at a cry from the audience.
He admitted guilt to 17 counts of murder over a year ago, leaving the jury to choose only between a life term in prison or the death penalty.
The shooting led to reforms in Florida's gun regulations, including raising the age requirement for purchasing firearms from 18 to 21, and inspired student survivors to found the March for Our Lives gun safety advocacy group.
The massacre had a tremendous negative impact on the neighborhood and led to many accusations. Later, two Stoneman Douglas teenagers, including one who was a close friend of one of the deceased, committed suicide. Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis, fired Scott Israel, the sheriff of Broward County, for what he saw as failings in leadership.
Additionally, when the FBI disregarded indications that Cruz wanted to "shoot up a school," the families of the deceased and survivors reached a $127.5 million settlement with the Department of Justice earlier this year.