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Jury recommends life in prison for Parkland school shooter

School Shooting-Florida
Posted at 10:09 AM, Oct 13, 2022

The man who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, will likely avoid the death penalty.

A jury recommended life in prison for Nikolas Cruz on Thursday.

For Cruz to get the death penalty, the jury would have had to agree to the punishment unanimously. At least one juror did not agree to the death penalty. The judge overseeing the death penalty phase of the trial will officially hand down the sentence at a hearing in November.

Cruz was in the courtroom as the verdicts were read. He showed little emotion as he was waiting to learn his fate.

Family members and victims appeared to be in shock as the verdict was read. Many of them were in the courtroom wiping away tears. They will have an opportunity to speak at the Nov. 1 hearing.

The verdict was reached on the second day of deliberations, which saw the jurors request to examine the gun Cruz used during the massacre.

Cruz, 24, pleaded guilty a year ago to murdering 14 students and three staff members and wounding 17 others on Feb. 14, 2018.

Cruz said he chose Valentine's Day to make it impossible for Marjory Stoneman Douglas students to celebrate the holiday ever again.