Jurors at Parkland college shooter Nikolas Cruz’s sentencing trial will probably be allowed to see swastikas he drew on assignments, a Florida decide dominated Thursday — over objections from protection attorneys who argued their shopper was an equal alternative killer.
Legal professionals, in a failed try and bar the repugnant drawings from being entered into proof, famous that Cruz murdered with out regard for race or faith.
Presenting the Nazi symbols could be excessively prejudicial, they argued — including that Cruz’s 2018 rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty was not suggestive of racial hate.
The 17 college students and staffers Cruz slaughtered, and the greater than a dozen he injured on the Parkland, Florida college on Feb. 14, 2018, included black, white, Asian, Jewish and Hispanic individuals.
However Circuit Choose Elizabeth Scherer overruled the bid and allowed the pictures into proof.
She additionally brushed apart an ensuing name for a mistrial prompted by her ruling, calling the request “disingenuous.”
Jurors will determine if Cruz, 23, will get life in jail or the demise sentence for one of many worst mass shootings within the nation’s historical past.
Cruz’s attorneys have argued that his troubled upbringing warrants the lesser time period, whereas prosecutors counter that the mass killing deserves the harshest penalty out there.
Then 19, Cruz sprayed defenseless college students and staffers with an AR-15 rifle on three separate flooring on Valentine’s Day.
Prosecutors have burdened the indiscriminate brutality of the rampage — noting that Cruz circled again to some wounded college students and completed them off.
The protection has highlighted Cruz’s troubled beginnings, together with being put up for adoption by his crack-addicted prostitute mother as an toddler.