Sentencing the Parkland killer | Day 21




  • In US
  • 2022-06-22 22:08:00Z
  • By South Florida Sun Sentinel

Here are updates from Day 21 in the sentencing trial of confessed Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz, 23; a jury will decide if he will be executed or sentenced to life in prison without parole. He pleaded guilty in October to 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the Feb. 14, 2018, massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

  • Opening statements scheduled: The third and final phase of jury selection started Wednesday, and the the judge plans to be finish that process within a week. Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer scheduled opening statements and testimony to start July 6.

  • 9/11: "I've seen horrible things before. I was in the Trade Center on 9/11," one potential juror responded to a question about seeing horrific pictures and touring the crime scene as part of the case. They said they don't want to be on the jury but would do it as part of their civic duty.

  • Circus fire-eater: Among those questioned were a circus fire-eater who had been arrested before and said she couldn't rule out trusting police officers less than other witnesses.

  • Law enforcement: One potential juror said she is divorced from a police officer. "Have you ever had a negative experience with a police officer that did not result in an arrest?" Assistant State Attorney Mike Satz asked with a grin. "Other than my ex-husband?" she responded.

  • Quote of the day: "I don't live for the opinions of others," one prospective juror said, explaining he won't feel pressured to conform his jury vote to public pressure. "I tie my own shoes. ... If life has taught me anything, it's that you can't please everybody. If you try to please everybody, you'll be miserable."

  • Looking ahead: The judge plans to screen 40 jurors on Thursday. The jury will return to court next Tuesday to learn, finally, whether they made the final cut of 12 jurors plus eight alternates.

Go to SunSentinel.com/parkland-shooting for complete coverage of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy and ongoing coverage of the sentencing trial.

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