Untreated serious mental illness a factor in mass murders

Dottie Pacharis
Written by admin
Dottie Pacharis

On February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz brutally murdered 14 students and three staff members and injured 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Cruz planned the shooting for seven months before he stalked a three-story classroom building for seven minutes, firing 140 shots with a semiautomatic rifle down hallways and into classrooms.

Cruz pleaded guilty. That plea set the stage for a three-month penalty trial that ended October 13, 2022, with the jury voting 9-3 for a death sentence. Jurors said those voting for life believed Cruz is mentally ill and should be spared. Under Florida law, a death sentence requires unanimity.

Cruz’s sentence is life without words. Angry family members of the 17 victims spent two days beating Cruz as evil, a coward, a monster, and a subhuman who deserved a painful death.

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