Controversial decisions ahead in Parkland trials for shooter and Deputy Peterson
Despite the tragic shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida happening over four years ago, there is still controversy in the courtroom in two high-profile trials.
23-year-old Nikolas Cruz pled guilty last year to all charges against him for carrying out the shooting that claimed the lives of seventeen students and injured multiple others.
Over four years later, his sentencing is not yet complete as his defense team attempts to get his sentence lessened by arguing that Cruz suffers from various psychological disorders that impaired his thinking.
The prosecution, for their part, has argued that Cruz’s premeditation prior to the shooting, including researching the police response time, proves he was fully aware of what he planned to do.
The prosecution also plans to introduce disturbing evidence of the Parkland shooter’s racist and homophobic views and his internet search history which includes dozens of searches for child pornography.
here’s more of nikolas cruz’s search history. i don’t even know what to say i’m extremely disgusted right now. pic.twitter.com/uwPup1ihua
— dorri ⌐╦̵̵̿ᡁ᠊╾━ ✡︎ (@motleycruefp) July 7, 2022
The prosecution also has evidence of Cruz gloating over the deaths of 49 people at the Pulse Orlando Nightclub, using an anti-gay slur to describe the victims.
The defense has argued that the evidence would only serve to “inflame the juror’s emotions” and would not further the prosecution’s burden of proof.
A controversial decision was also made this Thursday in the trial of former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson.
Peterson was set to face trial this September after being criminally charged for his negligence in protecting the victims of the Parkland shooting.
The judge presiding over his trial, Broward Circuit Judge Martin Fein, rescheduled his trial for February of 2023 over concerns that witnesses for Cruz’s trial would overlap with Peterson’s trial.
Fein addressed the victims of the Parkland shooting when issuing the ruling, saying that although he understands their frustration, “due process is paramount”
“While I feel for the victims [of the Cruz killings] and I understand their frustration, due process is paramount,” Eiglarsh said. “We don’t want to try this case twice in the unlikely event that there’s a conviction [of Peterson].” Fein said.
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