Nicholas Cruz avoided the death penalty. Now what’s next for him | CNN

CNN — Here’s what we know: Nicholas Cruz, now 24-years-old, escaped the death penalty after admitting to the murder of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in February 2018. A jury on Thursday recommended that he be sentenced to life in prison without parole, a decision that was outraged by the families of many victims who were allowed to live on Cruz. “Prison life is not a punishment! That is exactly what he wanted.” Max Schachter, father of 14-year-old Alex Schachter who was murdered in the genocide, wrote on Twitter. He said the decision would protect Cruz while he was in custody and “allow him to read, draw, and receive phone calls and mail.” “The 17 of his victims were terrified before they were killed,” he said. These are the victims of the Parkland School shooting. Much remains to be said about what Cruz’s remaining prison life will be like. Most of them will be cleared up when a formal sentencing is received early next month. But what can come next is: ‘The verdict is another straight punch’: Parkland victim’s father speaks after Cruz jury nomination Jury nomination Thursday’s jury nomination is just a recommendation, not a formal verdict. Since Thursday, a jury has claimed that what they described was intense deliberation, and one jury reported feeling threatened. The allegations are currently being investigated by the local sheriff’s office. Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer is due to give Cruz an official sentence at 9 a.m. on November 1, but Florida law does not allow a judge to evade a jury’s recommendation for life in prison. Victims and their families must speak up before sentencing. But as far as the award itself goes, the jury’s recommendation is final, Broward County public defender Gordon Weekes said at a press conference on Thursday. “The courts will respect that right and give them a chance to speak. And we appreciate that, we recognize it, and it has to be followed,” Weeks said. “But we also have to admit that the jury of the case went through many days of very, very difficult and shocking evidence, and they heard everything, weighed everything, and made a verdict. We have to respect that.” According to Janet Johnson, Florida criminal defense attorney, Cruz also has the right to make a statement during the sentencing process if she so desires. Incarcerated in Broward County since 2018, Cruz was sentenced to 25 years in state prison after pleading guilty to assaulting a prison guard in November of the same year. After serving his sentence in county custody for several weeks, he will be detained by the Florida Department of Corrections and transferred to one of several reception centers in the state. On Thursday, Weekes said Cruz would take him to the South Florida reception center. Johnson said he would spend weeks at the reception center “to get a physical and mental health checkup.” “They will look at his records and see the level of crime he was convicted of (obviously the highest level) and recommend a facility somewhere in the state.” According to the Florida Department of Corrections website, the facility chosen is determined by “reviewing (inmates) the seriousness of the crime, sentence, remaining time remaining, previous criminal records, escape records, prison adjustments, and other factors.” “The felons who receive the longest sentences and who are least likely to adjust to camp life are placed in safer facilities,” the Department of Corrections website said. Based on this assessment, the individual will be transferred to a facility that it deems most appropriate. Because Cruz is a high-risk offender, he’s likely to go to jail alongside other celebrities or “very dangerous offenders,” Johnson said. “But he won’t be isolated. Of course, this will be a real threat to him as there may be people who want ‘prison justice’ and think his sentence in court isn’t enough,” Johnson said. Added. According to the Department of Corrections Handbook, there are several classifications of custody for inmates, among them close custody for inmates who must be “maintained within armed perimeters or under direct armed supervision when outside the safe perimeter”. The corrections department did not respond to CNN’s questions about what kind of protection Cruz could receive. “Wait until he dies in a facility of natural causes or anything else that could happen to him,” said senior defense attorney Melisa McNeill, hinting at the dangers Cruz will face in prison during his final pleading at the death penalty. “He said. while he was in prison.” And at a press conference following a jury recommendation, Linda Weigel Schulman, mother of geography teacher Scott Weigel, who was killed in high school, said Cruz “will have to look over his shoulder for the rest of[in prison].” His life.” She said, “I want him to have fear at every moment of his life, just as he gave that fear to all of our loved ones he killed.” You have to fear every moment of life.” Parents of Parkland victims, including Schachter, pointed out some of the life Cruz will experience while their children are robbed in prison. This includes receiving mail and meeting visitors, Johnson said. said he has the right to do this. Johnson added that he could have a tablet that can send email and text other people. The Department of Corrections website says that inmates and their families can “conversation available in the general population housing unit.” Brothers pointed out that they can communicate via stationary kiosks and tablets.” According to the site, these services are provided by all major correctional institutions in Florida. “And you[the victims’]families who say, ‘We can’t do that’. You can see their arguments,” Johnson added. “And it makes sense.” The corrections department also did not answer CNN’s questions about what kind of mental health treatment Cruz could receive in prison. During this process, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office released more than 30 pages of text and drawings that revealed Cruz’s disturbing thoughts while in custody, focusing on guns, blood and death. “I don’t want life. Help me execute.” On the other hand, he told his family that he was sad and hoped to die of a heart attack through painkillers and overeating.Also while in prison, Cruz painted pictures of bullets, guns and people being shot. “I never wanted it,” he wrote, and in the hope that he would die and never wake up, he wrote, “My life is painful and always will be.” His lawyers said Cruz suffered “brain damage” from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder due to his mother’s drug and alcohol abuse during pregnancy. And Cruz appeared to be in control of his behavior in court, McNeill said. “It’s because he’s on drugs and receiving psychiatric treatment. He’s being treated by a prison psychologist.” Johnson said he will be given a psychiatric check-up when Cruz arrives at the reception center.

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