The visit, as Judge Elizabeth Scherer explained to jurors on Wednesday, help they analyze the evidence presented so far in trial of Nicholas Cruz, who faced with either death penalty or life in prison after pleading guilty on 17 counts of murder and 17 accounts of attempt murder.
Jury view Thursday comes more than four years and five months after the execution, on what would have been the 22nd birthday of victim Joaquin Oliver, his parents told CNN.
Joaquin’s mother, Patricia Oliver, said only that she hoped “emotion” was what the jurors needed. main takeaway food after visiting the building which was closed to save it for trial. Officials said he would be torn apart down.
The jury was instructed on Wednesday “avoid touch, manipulate or moving nothing.” Judge also told them to explore the scene on his and his pace, moving how group from floor to floor. Cruz is not expected to be on crime scene.
“Nothing will be explained or indicated out you,” the judge’s instructions read. Jury also said to avoid talking to anyone until viewing complete.
Jurors will not be allowed to own a smartphone, smartwatch or any other type of cameraduring the jury view. In court, lawyers urged the judge to ask jurors to wear closed-toed shoes because they could run into glass. on in floor.
current phase of court must determine Cruz’s verdict: prosecutors seek death penalty while Cruz defense lawyers ask jurors for sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole To recommend death verdict, the jury must be unanimous. If they do, the judge can choose follow recommendation or sentencing Cruz to life in prison instead.
“I can’t be truly happy if I’m smiling,” says the victim. father testifies
Some impact statements are expected following the visit in court, said the judge.
A lot of of testimony in Broward County Court, especially from parents of 14 students killed — concentrated on all the things that the victims and their families can never do, and the irreparable damage to their daily lives.
“Our family broken. It’s a constant void,” said Max Schachter. father of fourteen-year- old Alex, who loved chocolate chip cookies playing trombone and video games.
“I feel like I can’t be truly happy if I’m smiling,” Shakhtar said on Wednesday. “I know what behind this smile is a keen awareness that part of of I will always be sad and unhappy because Alex is not here.”
Loss of her daughter Meadow Pollack, 18destroyed”Shara Kaplan’s life,” she told jurors on Tuesday, “and my abilities of ever living a productive existence.” To formulate how her daughters death affected her, she said, she would have to break out her heart and show them how it shattered into a million pieces.
& Hoyer family will never be the same. “We were family Unit ism of five always trying to fit in world set up for even numbers,” said Tom Hoyer, whose 15-year-old son Luka Jr. of three – killed. “Two, four, six- sitting tables in a restaurant. two, four, six-ticket packages in events. Things like what.”
But the Hoyers are no longer family of five and never again will it world feel good now that we family of four,” Hoyer said.
“When Luke died, something was missing in me,” he said. And I will never, never get over this feeling.”
To pass judgment on a decision, the jury will hear prosecutors as well as defense lawyers claim aggravating and extenuating circumstances – Cruz’s reasons should or should not be executed.
Victim impact statements add another layer giving to families and friends of victims of their own day in court, although the judge told the jury that the statements should not be considered as aggravating circumstances.
Sarah Weisfeldt and Leila Santiago of CNN contributed to this report.