Cruz, Elon Al Hadaf, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder discussed on Morning Edition


And the monster that killed them. Gets to live another day. In opting for life in prison, jurors indicated they were swayed by arguments made by Cruz's lawyers. They quote a brain damaged, broken, mentally ill person through no fault of his own. Defense attorneys made the case that Cruz's problems began before he was born. But his mother abused drugs and alcohol. They presented expert testimony that he suffers from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and that everyone from his adoptive mother to school counselors failed to get him the treatment he needed. On the verdict forms jurors indicated those concerns outweighed aggravating factors that cruise premeditated and planned the murders and that he carried them out in a heinous atrocious and cruel manner. Elon Al hadaf, whose daughter Alyssa died that day, said the sentence left him disgusted with the system. So that means that everyone that has a mental illness should go on the killing spree. That's what we're telling this society that we're saying that's okay because you have a mental illness. The families had nothing but praise for the prosecution team who they say made a strong case for the death penalty Many of the families focused their anger and criticism on jurors, who they felt may have not been honest in the jury selection process. Every juror assured the court, they could vote for the death penalty if it was appropriate. Alyssa alade's mother, Lori. What is the death penalty for if not for the murder and killing of 17 people? Fred guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was one of those killed by crews, where he's this verdict sends the wrong message on school safety. I think any one planning a shooting right now sees that there's a path to avoid the death penalty where it does exist. And the death penalty does exist, by the way. As the family's expressed their anger, Broward county's public defender, whose office represented Cruz, asked the community to respect the verdict. Amid the back last jury foreman Benjamin Thomas told Miami CBS four, one juror was a holdout for a life sentence. It really came down to specific jury that he was mentally ill. And she didn't believe because he was mentally ill, he should get the death penalty. Following the verdict, one of the jurors delivered a letter to the judge, denying rumors that she had made up her mind to vote for life before the trial started. The deliberations were very tense, she wrote, and some jurors became extremely unhappy once I mentioned I would vote for life. Jury foreman Thomas said eventually two other jurors joined her in rejecting the death penalty. Judd sure said next month she'll formally sentence cruise to life in prison without possibility of parole. Greg Allen and PR news Fort Lauderdale. Time now for StoryCorps. Jack baker and Michael McConnell are two names you probably never heard of. In the early 1970s, they wanted to get married, but same sex marriage was not yet legal in Minnesota. Baker McConnell sued the state and appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The justice has

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