'Today's about victims': Nikolas Cruz's brother Zachary reacts to his life sentence as he dodges death penalty

'Today's about victims': Nikolas Cruz's brother Zachary reacts to his life sentence as he dodges death penalty
Nicholas Cruz's brother Zachary reacts to his life prison sentence (Amy Beth Bennett-Pool/Getty Images, Instagram/beingzachcruz)

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA: Nicholas Cruz was spared the death penalty in a shocking courtroom decision that left many confused. Cruz, 24, pleaded guilty last year to 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder. However, he was sentenced to life in prison by a jury that voted 9-3 in favor of the death penalty. But because they were not unanimous, Cruz was spared. Reacting to the jury decision, Cruz's brother Zachary Cruz said his heart goes out to the victims' families as Cruz was spared the ultimate decision.

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Zachary, 21, who is living with gay couple Richard Moore and Mike Donavan, said, "My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of my brother's crimes today. I will have much to say in the coming days and weeks about the Broward State Attorney's office, and the Broward School division. Today is not the day for that. Today is a day for the victims to find a peace in knowing that this legal process is finally over. Today is a day for the families to have their voices heard," said Zachary in a statement to Daily Mail via Moore on Thursday, October 13.

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On the other hand, Moore expressed his feelings saying, "Today's verdict brings to an end this long public life-or-death sentencing trial of Nikolas Cruz. Our family sends out prayers to all the victims and their families. Our country has a real issue with mental illness, and we must apply all available resources and efforts to address and prevent the next Parkland. I am grateful that this jury understood mental health issues better than Broward County Schools did. My focus and the focus of our family is to be here for Zach as he moves out of the shadows of his brother's trial. I do not believe that I could ever be as strong of a person as Zachary Cruz is."

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Moore and Donavan were arrested last week on the charges that they took advantage of Zachary by offering him a job and keeping him at their home right after his brother was being called the most heinous mass murderers in US history by many. The police further accused the couple of taking advantage of the fact that Zachary had received $400,000 from his late mother's estate and had a mental incapacity.

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz is shown at the defense table after the defense team announced their intention to rest their case during the penalty phase of the trial of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz at the Broward County Courthouse September 14, 2022 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Cruz previously plead guilty to all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings.
Nikolas Cruz is shown at the defense table after the defense team announced their intention to rest their case during the penalty phase of the trial of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz at the Broward County Courthouse September 14, 2022 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Amy Beth Bennett-Pool/Getty Images)

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The decision has disappointed many, especially the victims' families and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who tweeted, "The only appropriate sentence for the massacre of 17 innocent people is the death penalty. That the jury had a single holdout refuse to authorize a capital sentence represents a miscarriage of justice. My prayers are with the Parkland families." In a video posted along with the tweet, the governor said, "...When you're massacring those students with premeditation in utter disregard for humanity, you deserve the death penalty... This killer's gonna end up getting the same sentence for people who committed 'bad acts', but acts that did not rise to this level. I just don't think anything else is appropriate, except the capital sentence in this case..."

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