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Defense in Parkland death penalty sentencing case wants judge to sentence killer to life in prison


Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer’s willingness to strike more than 200 jurors from consideration in the Parkland mass shooting trial was an error so significant, according to lawyers for the defendant, that the state should no longer be permitted to seek the death penalty.

Attorneys for Nikolas Cruz filed a motion on Wednesday morning asking Judge Scherer to end jury selection and prepare to sentence Cruz to life in prison for the murders of 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day 2018. At the very least, defense lawyers argue, the judge must reinstate the jurors she previously dismissed.

The motion stems from a dispute over how to handle 11 jurors who, lawyers say, were prematurely dismissed on April 5.

Read more from our news partner, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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Rafael Olmeda / South Florida Sun-Sentinel