A jury made up of seven men and five female judges, 23-year-old Nicolas Cruz, is the admitted author of the shooting at the Parkland (Florida) institution that claimed 17 lives in 2018. The test, which is scheduled, continues for four months, it is observed. In Fort Lauderdale, near Miami, amid great media expectation, because of the great delay in the process because of the pandemic and because that massacre is echoed again in repeated attacks on educational centers. The last one, in Uvalde (Texas) in late May, with the remainder of 21 deaths—19 of them school children—has been involved in disgrace even after police confirmed failures to delay intervention, which pushed the list down. contributed to the increase. of victims
The case of Cruz, who was 19 when he brandished a semi-automatic rifle in his old-school classes, is unusual: in most of these attacks, the shooter is neutralize by security forces. He also survived the El Paso massacre in 2019, with 23 deaths, and is awaiting trial. But the convulsive process against Cruz adds tension to the cause. Only the selection of the jury took about three months, up to the expected duration of the trial, which began this Monday with the intervention of the prosecution. Cruz could be sentenced to death or sentenced to death under Florida law. A death sentence would require consensus on the part of the jury. If even one member disagrees, the young man will spend the rest of his days in jail.
The events surrounding the Parkland massacre, which inspired a new generation of gun control activists, are revived in a presentation of arguments this Monday. The prosecutor who led the charge left no details to recreate the horror he experienced on Valentine’s Day 2018, listing how many times and how each fatality occurred when Cruz’s rifle exploded on the body, bearing his name and surname. was mentioned with. Several relatives of the dead fell and one was forced to leave the room.
Cruise was expelled from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School for indiscipline and behavioral problems, and three months before the shooting he lost his adoptive mother, who was left without roots. The factor, which together with the particulars of his mental health, childhood, education received by him or the therapy adopted by him, shall form the basis of the defense constituted by the lawyers appointed by the court. The chief prosecutor, however, has made it clear that Cruz would not benefit from “any mitigating circumstance”, given all of the aggravating factors agreed to in his action. Current state law considers 16 potentially dire circumstances and, according to the indictment, Cruz involved premeditation and special tort of the act in seven of them. The fact that the attack was intended to disrupt the activity of an educational center is another matter.
Last October Cruz pleaded guilty to the deaths of 14 students and three of the center’s staff (a teacher, a sports director and a coach), although he faced a total of 34 charges: 17 for murder and attempted murder of the survivors. For. According to the allegation, Cruz fired 139 times with a semi-automatic rifle, a weapon commonly used in this type of mass shooting and whose use was once again hotly contested over the legal age required to purchase or possess it. becomes ammunition for debate. Weapon. Some states with more restrictive laws, such as New York, have raised the minimum age to 21, while other recent cases, such as Buffalo, Uvalde or Chicago, show how easy it is for 18-year-olds to equip themselves. Is. With such a deadly tool.
Last November, a month after Cruz’s guilty plea, the Justice Department announced that 17 survivors and relatives of the fatal victims would receive $127 million because the FBI failed to investigate the murderer despite receiving a homicide complaint. “erratic behavior”. Another unfortunately common fact, in the conduct of mass shooting perpetrators, is always discovered a posteriori, such as a previous threat made by the killer in Buffalo or the one in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, which cut off the previous July 4th parade. was.
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The process has been significantly delayed, first because of the pandemic, but also because of the extra time requested by defense and prosecutors to better elaborate on their charges. In June, Cruz’s defense tried to delay deliberation, arguing that the recent shootings at a hospital in Buffalo, Uvalde and Tulsa (Oklahoma), which resulted in a total of 35 deaths, could overwhelm the jury. . The request was rejected.
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