Cruz’s defense attorneys had urged a jury to sentence him to life in prison. The defense admitted Cruz was responsible for his actions and masterminded the school shooting, but argued that Cruz had a lifelong developmental delay that could be traced to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
“Sentencing Nicholas to death will never change anything,” defense attorney Melissa McNeill said in her closing arguments. “It will not bring back those 17 innocent victims of his vicious murder.”
Prosecutors, who advocate the death penalty, told jurors that Cruz had studied previous mass shootings and planned a “systematic massacre.”
“Some of the remarks the defendant wrote on his YouTube were: ‘No mercy, no problem, double tap. I’m going to… murder children… I’d love to see these families suffer,'” prosecutor Michael Satz said in closing arguments said when.
“He’s thinking about the future,” Satz said, “not only hoping to inflict pain on the victims,” but “anticipating how this pain and fear and death … will affect these families.”