Parkland Shooter Sentencing
A jury yesterday recommended life in prison without parole for the gunman who killed 17 people in the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, sparing the assailant from the death penalty. The case is the deadliest US mass shooting to go to trial. The now-24-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student, pleaded guilty last year to murdering 17 people and injuring 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The jury's recommendation caps a three-month trial on whether the gunman should face death or life in prison. Jurors agreed aggravating factors (see 101) existed to warrant the death penalty, including that the murder was cruel and heinous. But jurors did not unanimously find the aggravating factors outweighed the mitigating circumstances, such as mental illness, which spares capital punishment. The jury's recommendation is not official yet; the judge hearing the case will issue the formal sentencing Nov. 1.