parkland school shooting

Jury Selection in Parkland School Shooting Trial Continues

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Jury selection resumed Monday for the sentencing of convicted killer Nikolas Cruz, who is facing life in prison or the death penalty.

Cruz pled guilty to 17 charges of murder and 17 charges of attempted murder following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14, 2018.

The sentencing phase is scheduled to begin May 31 and continue through September.

Another 58 people entered courtroom 17150 during the Monday morning session and 13 were chosen.

That brings the total to 131 chosen from a pool of 555.

Two jurors were excluded before that first panel of the day was brought in:

One said she had a heart condition and did not want to take the elevator up to the 17th floor.

The other, Neva A. Rainford-Smith, happens to have a day job that the defense would certainly object to. She is deputy chief assistant to the Broward County State Attorney.

Among the others to be excused and sent back to the jury room:

Juror 54 said he went to high school with one of the five prosecutors: Nicole Chiappone.

Juror 23 started to say his wife was at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School before he was interrupted by the judge. He then explained he is Polish and was concerned a language barrier would prevent him from understanding the proceedings if chosen for the jury. He said he was “not qualified” to make a life or death decision.

Juror 17 became emotional and said “My son was a victim, shot at 15 years old,” she said. “My spirit is so disturbed.” The judge interrupted her and bailiffs escorted her from the courtroom.

Jury selection is expected to continue Tuesday and Wednesday.

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