The death of the death penalty.
In a stunning surprise, the jury, hearing sentencing arguments in the case of Nicholas Cruz at the Stoneman Douglas School, Parkland, FL for the killing of 17 people, recommended that Cruz be sentenced to life in prison instead of the death penalty.
17 others were wounded in this mass shooting. Few people, especially the surviving families of the victims, expected Cruz could escape a death sentence, for the state labored long and hard to prove the Cruz committed aggravated offences in the shooting. And the jurors agreed, that he qualified for such a sentence.
His defense lawyers, however, produced a fetal alcohol syndrome defense, argued that his mother used drugs and alcohol during her pregnancy. This behavior, they argued, resulted in brain damage to Cruz. The state produced a psychologist who threw cold water on this theory, but the jury didn’t buy it, or they didn’t want to buy it.
One might ask if the death penalty doesn’t apply here, where 34 people were shot and 17 killed, when does it apply? And that, of course, is the question. We may be looking at the beginning of the end for the death penalty.
With love, not fear, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.