FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Jury selection in the death penalty case against Nikolas Cruz will continue on Monday with the return of 11 Broward County residents who had been dismissed from jury duty earlier this month.
The Broward County Clerk of Courts issued the summons for the group on April 28th and warned that a failure to appear could result in contempt of court, Local 10 News Reporter Christina Vazquez reported Friday
Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer dismissed the 11 prospective jurors on April 5th. She asked them if they could follow the law and they answered in the negative. Her decision prompted attorneys’ requests.
Cruz’s defense told Scherer they wanted to question the 11 she had dismissed. The prosecution later said the dismissal was “an error” and she needed to restart jury selection. Scherer granted the prosecution’s request on April 25th and continued screening jurors. But after hearing the defense’s argument on April 27th, she reversed her decision.
“My ruling was premature. I am going to dismiss the state’s motion as premature. I am going to bring those 11 individuals back for the purpose of asking them whether they have a hardship in serving and we will take it from there,” Scherer said in court.
Scherer’s goal is to find 12 jurors and 8 alternate jurors who are able to serve until September. The jurors will have to decide if Cruz should be executed for the 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. If their vote is not unanimous, Scherer will then sentence Cruz to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
TRACKING JURY SELECTION
- 243 prospective jurors said they didn’t have hardships
- Scherer dismissed 11 potential jurors on April 5
- 155 prospective jurors said they didn’t have hardships
May 2nd plan
- The first 40 of the 243 prospective jurors to return for the second round of jury selection
- Attorneys will get to question the 11 prospective jurors who were dismissed on April 5th about hardships.