FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – With jury selection in the Nikolas Cruz trial set to resume Monday, 11 prospective jurors have been summoned to return to the courtroom.
This was the same panel the defense team argued was prematurely excused earlier this month before attorneys had a chance to question them.
The judge decided not to restart jury selection.
Two prospective women jurors were teary-eyed as the proceedings started. They were led out of the courtroom and brought back individually.
“I am emotional, I can’t take this case. My daughter went to that school. I can’t be here,” one woman told the judge.
It’s been a real challenge finding a fair and impartial 12-member jury for sentencing in the high profile school shooting death penalty case.
The state has argued the first two weeks of jury selection should be scrapped due to 11 excused prospective jurors, who said they could not follow the law.
A death penalty case can be very difficult.
Nova Southeastern University law professor Bob Jarvis said all parties are working to navigate the terrain.
“No matter what the judge does, the error is there and it will potentially provide the basis for an appeal down the road, which means we could be doing this all over again,” Jarvis said.