Nikolas Cruz, the Florida school shooter, might have persuaded a judge to give him the death penalty.
Cruz had jailhouse interviews with two of the prosecution’s mental health specialists this year, according to video aired last week during the punishment trial. He responded to their inquiries concerning his murder of 17 people at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, in honest and occasionally gory detail. He discussed his preparation, his inspiration, and the shootings.
His answers to forensic psychiatrist Charles Scott and neuropsychologist Robert Denney did not help his case, even if it is impossible to tell what the 12 jurors are thinking or if any are debating whether to vote for death or life without parole.
A Miami defence lawyer and former prosecutor who has been following the trial, David S. Weinstein, claimed that Cruz himself may have been one of the state’s greatest witnesses as a result of all of this.
This week, Cruz’s fate will probably be decided by the jury. The jury must agree unanimously on the death penalty for the 24-year-old in order to be found guilty. But if the verdict on all 17 counts is life in prison with at least one vote in favour, it will be the punishment for the offender. Deliberations will start on Wednesday after the closing arguments on Tuesday.
Prosecutors could have specialists evaluate Cruz since Cruz’s defence asserts that his birth mother’s severe drinking throughout his pregnancy caused him brain damage.
He was questioned separately for several hours by Scott and Denney. Cruz was seated across from each of them, handcuffed, with a sweater covering his chest. He occasionally requested a pen and paper so that he could illustrate his points with diagrams and drawings.
What will the jury learn from the interviews, is the question. A guy so utterly insane that he can only be mad, or a cold-blooded killer who was enraged and pleased about the murders? Professor of law at Nova Southeastern University, Bob Jarvis, said
When detailing, for example, how he plotted the slaughter, Cruz’s remarks were frequently exceedingly cruel and cold-blooded.
Cruz said, “I did my own research,” to Scott. “I researched mass murderers and how they operated, their strategies, their resources, and their tools.”
He listed the lessons he has discovered: The police “didn’t do anything,” so keep an eye out for potential rescuers lurking behind corners, stay some distance from your intended victims, and attack quickly.
Cruz stated, “I have a tiny window of opportunity to shoot somebody for maybe 20 minutes.”
He also gave a justification for his cease-fire.
He claimed, “I couldn’t locate someone to kill. I didn’t want to do it any longer, and I believed no one else was in the building.