FORT LAUDERDALE – The jury in the penalty trial of Parkland school gunman Nikolas Cruz will resume deliberations on Thursday.
On Wednesday, they’d questions as they thought-about whether or not to advocate life in jail with out the chance of parole or a demise sentence.
Cruz, 24, pleaded responsible final year to the murders of 14 college students and three workers members at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th, 2018. The trial has solely been to decide his sentence.
They deliberated for about six hours Wednesday, together with asking to have learn again to them the prosecution’s cross-examination of a protection psychologist Dr. Paul Connor who mentioned Cruz suffers from fetal alcohol spectrum dysfunction. They additionally requested for a learn again of Dr. Robert Denny’s testimony, he was the neuropsychologist who interviewed Cruz in jail.
After listening to Connor’s testimony, jurors determined not to hear Denney’s once more.
Late in the day, they requested to look at Cruz’s AR-15 rifle. That led to an alternate between the prosecution and Judge Elizabeth Scherer. The prosecution objected to it being proven in open courtroom and mentioned it must be introduced to the jury room.
“Judge I tried I can’t tell you how many cases and the gun has always gone back. This is just ridiculous, that’s all I’m saying,” mentioned prosecutor Mike Satz.
The sheriff’s office didn’t have the right security gear to make that occur, so the difficulty can be resolved on Thursday.
The seven-man, five-woman panel can undergo all of the proof, photos, movies, and witness testimony to assist them higher decide.
They don’t have any time restrict to determine.
The jury is sequestered, staying at an undisclosed resort with no cell telephones and no tv. Jurors are allowed one telephone name a day and that can be monitored by a regulation enforcement officer.
The jurors can be voting 17 occasions – as soon as for every sufferer. For the jurors to advocate a demise sentence for a selected sufferer, they first should unanimously agree that the prosecution proved past an inexpensive doubt that the killing concerned a minimum of one aggravating circumstance as proscribed underneath Florida regulation.
This half shouldn’t be troublesome – the listed aggravating circumstances embrace knowingly creating a terrific threat of demise to quite a few individuals, committing murders that have been “especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel” or dedicated in a “cold, calculated, and premeditated manner.” They then should unanimously agree that the annoying components warrant consideration of the demise penalty.
They then should decide whether or not the annoying circumstances “outweigh” the mitigating components that the protection argued reminiscent of his delivery mom’s consuming, his adoptive mom’s alleged failure to get him correct psychiatric care and his admission of guilt.
If they do, the jurors can then advocate a demise sentence – however that is not required. A juror can ignore the weighing train and vote for all times out of mercy for Cruz.
A demise sentence advice requires a unanimous vote on a minimum of one sufferer. If one or extra jurors vote for all times on all victims, that can be his sentence.
If the jury can not unanimously agree that Cruz must be executed for a minimum of one sufferer, he can be sentenced to life with out parole – Scherer can not overrule the jury. She may sentence him instantly or schedule a future listening to.
After he’s sentenced, the Florida Department of Corrections would assign him to a most safety jail the place he can be half of the overall inhabitants. McNeill, in her closing argument, alluded that may very well be an exceedingly harmful place for somebody like Cruz.