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Jury Selection Process Resumes In Parkland Shooter Nikolas Cruz Penalty Trial

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - The jury selection process in the penalty phase trial of Parkland school gunman Nikolas Cruz resumed Monday after a week-long delay.

Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer put the process on hold last week after Cruz's lead attorney Melisa McNeill was absent due to an illness.

McNeill is not expected to be in court on Monday.

Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty in October to murdering 17 and wounding 17 at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018.

The jurors who are selected will decide whether aggravating factors — the multiple deaths, the planning Cruz put into the killings and the cruelty with which they were carried out — outweigh mitigating factors such as the defendant's lifelong mental and emotional problems, possible sexual abuse and the death of his parents.

For Cruz to be executed, the jury must vote unanimously for death. If one or more vote against it, he will be sentenced to life without parole.

Opening statements are currently scheduled for mid June, the trial is expected to last several months.

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