An adolescent who killed 17 individuals at his former highschool in Parkland, Florida goes on trial Monday, with jurors at hand down both the loss of life penalty or life in jail.
Nikolas Cruz took an AR-15 assault rifle into Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty on Valentine’s Day in 2018 and killed 17 college students and workers members.
Cruz, who was 19 on the time, has already pleaded responsible to 17 counts of first-degree homicide and 17 counts of tried homicide for these injured in the course of the bloodbath.
The trial is underway to find out his sentence. The loss of life penalty requires a unanimous verdict by the jury; In any other case, Cruz will probably be given life with out parole.
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The taking pictures in Florida shocked a rustic accustomed to gun violence and spurred new efforts, led by schoolchildren themselves, to get lawmakers to cross more durable gun management legal guidelines.
Parkland survivors based the March for Our Lives, organizing a rally that drew a whole bunch of hundreds of individuals to Washington, DC in 2018.
1000’s turned out in demonstrations organized by the group final month after two different mass shootings: one at an elementary college in Texas that killed 19 younger kids and two lecturers, and one other at a grocery store in New York that left 10 useless. black individuals.
These shootings helped spur help for the primary main federal gun security invoice in a long time.
President Joe Biden signed the regulation in late June. It included expanded background checks for brand spanking new patrons and federal cash for states that introduce “crimson flag” legal guidelines that permit courts to quickly take away weapons from individuals deemed a menace.
Cruz bought the gun he used within the 2018 assault legally, regardless of having a documented historical past of psychological well being points.
Expelled from college for disciplinary causes, Cruz was recognized to be obsessive about firearms — and was reportedly recognized as a possible menace to his classmates.
On the day of the assault, Cruz arrived on the college in an Uber, started taking pictures indiscriminately at college students and workers, and left 9 minutes later, forsaking a scene of carnage.
He was arrested shortly afterwards.
Footage taken from his cellphone confirmed him filming his plans to assault his former college, saying his intention was to kill “a minimum of 20 individuals”.
Cruz advised a detective after his arrest that he heard demons commanding him to “purchase weapons, kill animals and destroy every little thing.”
In line with the web site Gun Violence Archive, greater than 24,000 individuals have been killed by firearms in america up to now this yr, together with greater than 13,000 who died by suicide.