Shady Deals In Broward County

The accused, Nikolas Cruz, was arraigned on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, while a cadre of Khmer Rouge cadets vented their fury throughout the land. (Background: What’s Up In Broward County?, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, March 15, 2018.)

An arraignment is a formal reading of a document in the presence of the defendant to inform the defendant of the charges against him or her. In response to arraignment, the accused is expected to enter a plea. Acceptable pleas vary among jurisdiction but they generally include “guilty”, “not guilty”, “nolo contendere” (no contest), and the “Alford plea”. [1]

(An “Alford plea” is complicated. The name comes from the United States Supreme Court case of North Carolina v. Alford (1970) [2])

So how did Nikolas Cruz, alleged murderer of 17 persons in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018, plea? Here we enter the Lovecraftian realm of Broward County. Cruz “stood mute.” His public defender practically was on her knees begging for a plea deal. Because no simple answer of “guilty”, “not guilty”, “nolo contendere”, etcetera was voiced, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer entered a “not guilty” plea on Cruz’s behalf. [3]

In the court room, sobbing, sat Zachary Cruz, the younger brother of Nikolas. On social media, Zachary posted the message, “Don’t believe everything you hear or read about me and my brother.” [4]

Seated next to Zachary in the court room was his guardian, Roxanne Deschamps. She also shed tears. [4]

Also present were the grieving families of victims of the Parkland shootings. [4]

“Don’t believe everything you hear or read about me and my brother,” advised Zachary Cruz. Indeed, there is more emotion than fact being presented in various “news” reports. Scarcely mentioned are the videotape surveillance tapes from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. When last we heard, a judge had ruled that surveillance video should be made public that shows events outside (but not inside) of the high school. The judge, on Monday, agreed with news outlets including The Associated Press that the video should be released. The judge stayed his order until noon Thursday to allow for a possible appeal. [5]

And now, at long last! A scrap of video has been released! It shows the hapless school resource officer, who thought the shots were coming from outside the building. Not yet seen is any video of Nikolas Cruz carrying a rifle into the building. And not yet seen (though whispered about) is video footage from inside the high school, which footage exists still, somewhere in the bowels of Broward County.

One of the shady deals in Broward County was between the Broward State Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office. The deal, known as the “Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline,” was designed as a “see no evil” agreement. Thus there had been “complicity” between offices now alternately prosecuting and defending Nikolas Cruz. For this reason, says an attorney for one of the victims of the Parkland Massacre, neither of the two offices should be involved in the current prosecution and defense of Nikolas Cruz. [6]

On Tuesday, March 13th, the prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty for Cruz. [7] This makes the trial more complicated, and hopes for Plea Deal Heaven by the overworked public defender are fading. An actual trial might mean that we the public would be able to see any real evidence against Nikolas Cruz (if it exists). It also might at last clear up what exactly did happen at the high school on February 14, 2018.

——- Sources ——-
[1] “Arraignment”, Wikipedia, March 15, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arraignment
[2] “Alford plea”, Wikipedia, March 15, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alford_plea
[3] “Nikolas Cruz stays silent in court as thousands of US students stage walkout in gun control protest”, by Nick Allen. Telegraph (UK), March 15, 2018. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/14/live-us-students-stage-walkout-gun-control-protest/
[4] “Brother of Florida Shooting Suspect Nikolas Cruz Cries During Court Hearing”, Inside Edition. Uploaded to YouTube on March 14, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34EOG84lhJg
[5] “The Latest: Judge: release Florida school shooting video”, March 12, 2018. https://www.seattlepi.com/news/education/article/The-Latest-Shooter-suspect-wants-medical-records-12747347.php
[6] “Parkland shooting victim wants lawyers on both sides off the Nikolas Cruz case”, by Rafael Olmeda. Sun Sentinel, March 13, 2018. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/florida-school-shooting/fl-reg-florida-school-shooting-disqualify-lawyers-motion-20180313-story.html
[7] “Florida shooting: Prosecutors seek death penalty for Nikolas Cruz”, BBC, March 13, 2018. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43391505

 

About ersjdamoo

Editor of Conspiracy Nation, later renamed Melchizedek Communique. Close associate of the late Sherman H. Skolnick. Jack of all trades, master of none. Sagittarius, with Sagittarius rising. I'm not a bum, I'm a philosopher.
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2 Responses to Shady Deals In Broward County

  1. Pingback: Excessive Bail in Broward County | Ersjdamoo's Blog

  2. Pingback: Chilling Tales of Broward County (Part 2) | Ersjdamoo's Blog

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