US: Jury recommends life in prison for Parkland shooting perpetrator
Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz sits at the defense table during a hearing, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on October 13, 2022.
Jurors in the United States recommend life in prison without the possibility of parole for Nikolas Cruz, author of the shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida.
The jurors have returned a verdict after three months of a grueling trial. Nikolas Cruz therefore escapes the death penalty as demanded by the prosecutors, since the unanimity of the 12 jurors was required for this sentence.
The shooter, whose sentence cannot be reduced, showed no reaction to the reading of the verdict by Judge Elizabeth Scherer in a Fort Lauderdale court.
The relatives of the victims greeted the news with serious faces, one of them nodding in disagreement.
They will be able to speak at a hearing on November 1, during which the magistrate will formally ratify the sentence.
After only seven hours of deliberation, the twelve jurors retained several aggravating circumstances, in particular on the heinous, atrocious and cruel nature of the crime. But at least one of them felt that they were not enough to outweigh the mitigating circumstances.
The killings left 17 people dead and 17 injured at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in the small town of Parkland, north of Miami, on February 14, 2018.
In October last year, the shooter pleaded guilty to 17 murders that day, involving 14 students and three adults, and 17 attempted murders, one for each person injured.
His trial aimed to determine whether he deserved the death penalty or rather life imprisonment.
With information from Agence France-Presse