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US jury recommends life in prison for Parkland school shooter

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Nikolas Cruz (L) and his lawyer Melisa McNeill at his sentencing trial for the murders of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida./AFP
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Oct 14, 2022 - 03:29 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – A US jury decided Thursday to give a life sentence to Nikolas Cruz, the gunman who killed 17 people in a shooting attack on a school in Parkland, Florida in 2018.

The jury initially recommended the death penalty but later issued a verdict of life in prison with no parole. The verdict came at the end of a three-month trial.

One parent slammed the verdict, saying: “As a country, we need to stand up and say that’s not ok.

“I pray that that animal suffers every day of his life in jail,” he told ABC News.

The 19-year-old Cruz opened fire on students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, killing 17 people and injuring another 17. He pleaded guilty last October to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.

The life sentence recommendation will become official after being evaluated by Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer at a hearing set for Nov. 1.

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