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Life sentence for Florida school shooting

Nicholas Cruz, who killed 17 students and staff at a Florida high school with a semi-automatic weapon, has been officially sentenced to life in prison.

A jury last month voted to spare Cruz, 24, from the death penalty instead of choosing life in prison without the possibility of parole in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

Cruz pleaded guilty to premeditated murder in a February 14, 2018 assault last year and was sentenced to three months in prison earlier this year.

Broward County Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Scherrer agreed with the prosecution’s request to first allow the relatives of the Cruise victims to speak in court before the sentencing was handed down on Wednesday.

Sentencing proceedings began Tuesday with a statement on the impact on victims.

Relatives of many victims condemned the jury’s decision and criticized state law’s requirement that all 12 jurors be unanimous in order to sentence a convicted person to death. .

Some relatives have accused Cruz’s lawyers, who futilely challenged a judge on Tuesday.

Relatives of many victims inexplicably sat behind large glasses and spoke directly to Cruz, who sat wearing a COVID-19 mask at a table with his public advocates.

Anne Ramsay, mother of 17-year-old Helena Ramsay, said he was “pure evil.” Inez Hickson called him a “domestic terrorist” for murdering her father-in-law and the school’s athletics director, Chris Hickson.

Cruz was 19 when he attacked Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, about 50 kilometers north of the Fort Lauderdale courthouse. He had been expelled from school.

Some of the survivors have organized a youth-led campaign to tighten gun control in the United States, which has the highest private gun ownership rate in the world and a spate of mass shootings.

https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/crime/life-in-prison-for-florida-school-shooter-c-8741951 Life sentence for Florida school shooting

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