Nikolas Cruz: LONE juror who voted against death penalty reveals 'very tense' deliberations

Nikolas Cruz: LONE juror who voted against death penalty reveals 'very tense' deliberations
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz avoids death penalty (Amy Beth Bennett-Pool/Getty Images)

PARKLAND, FLORIDA: The sole juror who voted against the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland school shooter who killed 17, described discussions as "very tense". The juror described contentious arguments with the jury over the fate of Cruz, 24, who was sentenced to death for the 2018 massacre, in a letter that was sent to Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer.

ADVERTISEMENT

The juror claimed she remained 'fair and unbiased' in voting for life in prison, allowing Cruz to avoid the death penalty and said she hadn't made up her mind before the trial was over. According to NBC6, the letter reads, "This allegation is untrue and I maintained my oath to the court that I would be fair and unbiased. The deliberations were very tense and some jurors became extremely unhappy once I mentioned that I would vote for life."

ADVERTISEMENT

READ MORE

Nikolas Cruz sentenced to life, avoids death penalty after jurors fail to reach unanimous decision

Nikolas Cruz: Parkland shooter is 'delusional' and now wants to dedicate life to 'helping people'

ADVERTISEMENT



 

Reporter Christina Boomer said on Twitter that the jury emerged from deliberation with several members visibly upset and one woman nearly in tears. Two of the female jurors had already begun to cry when the jury read their verdict to the judge, and several of the male jurors had stooped and kept their heads down.

ADVERTISEMENT

After the verdicts were announced, Corey Hixon, the son of the mass murder victim Chris Hixon, walked out of court holding hands with a female companion. The decision "sets a precedent" for the next mass murder, according to Ilan Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was shot eight times. He stated, "I'm disgusted with our legal system, I'm disgusted with those jurors. I'm disgusted with the system."

ADVERTISEMENT

The decision
The decision "sets a precedent" for the next mass murder, according to Ilan Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was shot eight times. (Law&Crime/Video screengrab)

As per Florida state law, the death penalty could only have been handed down if jurors unanimously recommended he be executed. The only other option would be life in prison. Jurors returned the verdict of recommending life in prison after just a day of deliberation, whereas the trial lasted three months. During the proceedings, graphic videos and photos, stomach-churning testimony from victims’ family members, and a tour of the "still blood-spattered" school building was given, reported Daily Mail.

ADVERTISEMENT

On Thursday, October 13, the verdict was decided with a formal announcement to be made by Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer, on November 1, as she has no choice but to sentence Cruz to life in prison. At the time of sentencing, the relatives and students of the victims will be given the chance to speak.

Cruz, who was only 19 years old at the time of the shooting, had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. During the trial, he expressed deep regret and pleaded guilty, requesting another chance to do better.

ADVERTISEMENT

Share this article: Nikolas Cruz: LONE juror who voted against death penalty reveals 'very tense' deliberations