Crime and Safety

Florida man, who killed 17 people on Valentine’s Day in 2018, sentenced to life in prison

In October 2021, Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty to 17 murders committed on Valentine’s Day!

The perpetrator of the 2018 Florida high school massacre avoided the death penalty Thursday after a jury decided the killer should spend life in prison after a three-month trial. Nikolas Cruz did not react to the reading of the verdict by Judge Elizabeth Scherer in the court in Fort Lauderdale, and as reported by the media “he did not even blink”.

Relatives of the victims are devastated by the court’s decision, with one person shaking his head to show his disagreement. Many parents of the injured children cried, hugged, supported each other, and the trial was attended by children who survived the massacre.

They will be able to speak at a hearing on November 1, when the judge is expected to formally confirm the sentence. After seven hours of deliberation, the twelve jurors retained several aggravating factors, particularly the “brutal” nature of the crime, but one of them thought those factors were insufficient.

A unanimous decision was required for the death penalty to be imposed in this case. On February 14, 2018, 17-year-old Nikolas Cruz caused fear in Parkland, a small town north of Miami, by opening fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, from which he had been expelled a year earlier. In October 2021, he pleaded guilty to 17 murders committed on Valentine’s Day, involving 14 students and three adults.


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