Listen Live

Nikolas Cruz’ life was spared as a divided Jury made the decision to give him life in prison instead of the death penalty. This decision left many families of the victims angered and in tears.

Cruz pleaded guilty in 2021 to killing 17 people and wounding 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.

The three-month trial included graphic videos and photos from the massacre and its aftermath, heart-wrenching testimony from victims’ family members and a tour of the still blood-spattered building. The jury rejected the death penalty after deliberating for about seven hours over two days.

During the trial phase of the sentencing hearing, two expert witnesses for the defense testified that Cruz suffered severe brain damage as a result of his biological mother’s abuse. Assistant Public Defender Melisa McNeill asked jurors to consider Cruz’s history of mental illness when making their decision. arguing that Cruz should be given a life sentence instead of the death penalty.