GUILTY FL - 17 killed in Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Parkland, 14 Feb 2018 *Arrest* #5

SeesSeas

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Jury selection for the sentencing of convicted mass murderer Nikolas Cruz seems to be gaining a little momentum.

Six of 21 prospective jurors advanced to the next round, Tuesday, compared to nine of 17 on Monday.

The goal is to whittle down nearly 400 jurors to 150 which could take at least five weeks at the current rate.
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The sentencing trial is expected to last through October once 12 jurors and eight alternates are chosen.
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JerseyGirl

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PrairieWind

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Good grief. That was clearly intentional by the prospective juror. The Judge should hold her in contempt, fine her $1,000 and send a message to the rest of the jury panel, its time to take this serious.
 

cujenn81

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Good grief. That was clearly intentional by the prospective juror. The Judge should hold her in contempt, fine her $1,000 and send a message to the rest of the jury panel, its time to take this serious.
I totally agree!
 

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May 24, 2022, 6:58 PM
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The search for the 12 jurors who will decide the fate of Nikolas Cruz continued Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale.

Dozens of Broward County residents responded to jury duty for the second time. They had cleared the first phase since they did not have financial hardships or other obstacles preventing them from serving in court. But for some, that had changed.

“We had a juror who just got a new job and the new job won’t pay him because it is new. We have another juror who got into nursing school and it is a full-time program,” Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said in court.
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Lawyers In Penalty Trial Of Parkland Killer Argue Over Jurors Questioning Over Texas School Shooting
May 25, 2022
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Scherer ruled that McNeill and her team could ask potential jurors general questions about their feelings on school shootings and the murder of children and whether they could still be fair, but not specifically about Texas. Still, she understood why McNeill had been so emotional in discussing the Texas killings.

“How can you not be?” she said.

And Cruz’s trial for what is now the fifth-deadliest U.S. school shooting marched slowly forward.
 

Chelly

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Concerned about this trial. Hope justice is served expeditiously and trial doesn't become a hot mess.
 

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JUNE 6, 2022
[...]
“Right now I don’t feel confident representing Mr. Cruz,” said lead defense attorney Melisa McNeill after Judge Elizabeth Scherer ordered her to participate.
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The latest twist in the monthslong jury selection process came Monday after McNeill said the defense would not participate in jury selection, beyond asking potential jurors if they had economic or personal hardships, because one of her co-counsel, an experienced death penalty litigator, was out sick Monday.
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Judge Scherer said if an attorney doubts validity of court order, they are obligated to challenge them – but cannot disobey them.

“I too would urge the defense to reconsider their position I believe it is an ethical violation … I don’t intend to have any contempt proceedings,” the judge said. But she said it would be a clear violation of Florida law and ethical responsibilities.

“Your remedy is to file and appeal, your remedy is not to disregard court procedure,” she said. “We are going forward. We are going to bring the jury in.”
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JUNE 6, 2022
  • Potential end of trial: After several delays in jury selection, the trial’s end date is now expected to be in October, a month later than the previous estimate.

Jun 6, 2022
As some of the survivors of the Parkland massacre prepare to join survivors of the Uvalde massacre this week to explain (again) to members of Congress that it’s About The Damn Guns, down in Florida, the penalty phase of the trial of Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland gunman, is mired in a legal mud fight. The judge and the defense team are not playing well with each other.
 

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JUNE 6, 2022 / 6:00 PM
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An original pool of about 1,800 potential jurors has been whittled down to about 300 with the process in Phase 2 of 3. After being simply asked during Phase 1 whether their jobs and lives would allow them to serve for four months, the potential jurors are now being asked in Phase 2 their opinions on the death penalty and whether they can be fair to Cruz.

Phase 3, whenever that begins, would involve individualized questioning. Scherer is hoping to have 150 potential jurors for that phase, but right now only 35 have advanced out of Phase 2 while about 95 have been rejected.
 

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Jun 07, 2022 at 6:42 pm
[...]
  • Slow process: The slow process of selecting a jury continued Tuesday. For the first time since May 25, about a dozen jurors moved from phase 2 to phase 3. So far, 50 prospective jurors have moved to phase 3.

  • Moral judgment:
    When defense lawyer David Wheeler tried to explain that each juror is expected to use his or her individual moral judgment, one prospective juror pushed back. “This is a courtroom,” she said. “We are not here for moral judgments. We’re here because a crime was committed.” She remains in the jury pool.
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Published: June 7, 2022, 5:41 PM
Updated: June 8, 2022, 6:22 AM
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A potential juror with experience in social psychology presented her challenge in court:

“If imposing the death penalty on him may prevent some other want to be mass murderer from doing it, that would have some weight with me whether that would be a reason for saying yes to the death penalty.

“On the other hand, does adding to the body county of an already horrific murder make sense? But that’s when you talk about weighing. For me, that’s what it would come down to: Where does it make the most sense to impose the most absolute punishment that you can give somebody.”
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June 8, 2022
[...]
The pace has picked up after COVID, unrelated illnesses, and other legal maneuverings frequently interrupted the proceedings since April 4.

Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer has expressed a desire to choose 12 jurors and eight alternates from a pool of 150, whittled down from more than 1,600.

She has scaled back her expectations to about 80 and nearly half of the 60 already selected have been chosen within 24 hours.

While this increased efficiency shows signs of progress toward the judge’s goal, there is no jury selection scheduled for next week.
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June 8, 2022
[...]
  • Question about victim impact statements: One potential juror wanted to know why the jury will have to hear victim impact statements if they are not allowed to consider them as aggravating factors. Scherer couldn’t give a full answer and read the legal instruction, which just restated the question. Later, after consulting with lawyers on both sides, she elaborated: “Florida law does not permit a victim’s family member to testify or give a recommendation about the appropriate sentence.”
  • Looking ahead: Jury selection is scheduled to resume Tuesday, June 21, which is expected to be the final day of phase 2. Phase 3 is expected to start Wednesday, June 22.
 

SeesSeas

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While waiting for jury selection to continue next week. . .
My main thoughts are how much $$$$$$$ is spent by Florida taxpayers on death penalty cases...
[...] the cost of executing a prisoner in Florida averages about $3.2 million, mostly in trial costs. Keeping that same person in prison for life costs only about $600,000 [...]

Study: 88% of criminologists do not believe the death penalty is an effective deterrent
Posted on Jul 28, 2009

A recent study by Professor Michael Radelet and Traci Lacock of the University of Colorado found that 88% of the nation’s leading criminologists do not believe the death penalty is an effective deterrent to crime. The study, Do Executions Lower Homicide Rates? The Views of Leading Criminologists, published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Crimonology, concluded, “There is overwhelming consensus among America’s top criminologists that the empirical research conducted on the deterrence question fails to support the threat or use of the death penalty.” A previous study in 1996 had come to similar conclusions.
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Experts Agree: Death Penalty Not A Deterrent To Violent Crime
JANUARY 15, 1997

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“Deterrence means that we execute people to send a message to others,” Radelet said. “After a while, increases in the severity of punishment have decreasing incremental deterrent effect. So if you haven’t deterred somebody by life, you re not going to deter them by death.

“If you want to deter people from leaning on your stove, medium heat works just as well as high heat.”

Radelet said a large segment of the pro-death penalty community and numerous politicians regularly — and incorrectly — cite the death penalty’s supposed deterrent effect in their arguments for continued executions.
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Radelet said the cost of executing a prisoner in Florida averages about $3.2 million, mostly in trial costs. Keeping that same person in prison for life costs only about $600,000, and the millions of dollars spent on executing prisoners could be put to much better use, he said.
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[...]
In fact, Scherer told potential jurors on Tuesday that the trial testimony could now run through the end of October.

There has been such a gap of time since potential jurors were selected to proceed to the Phase 2 jury selection, that Scherer began asking returning jurors if anything had changed in their life circumstances that would now prevent them from being able to sit through the trial.
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The judge said she is determined to have a jury seated by the end of the week.

“We’re getting a jury this week,” she said. “Motions are being heard next week.”

The third and final phase of voir dire could begin as early as Wednesday and end Friday, but the proceedings have been fraught with interruptions, delays, and illnesses.
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