Parkland school shooting suspect can’t be called ‘animal’

Florida

FILE – In this Dec. 10, 2019 Nikolas Cruz appears at a hearing in Fort Lauderdale Fla. A judge says Cruz, accused of murdering 17 people at a Florida high school cannot be called derogatory terms like “animal” or “that thing” during his upcoming trial. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer in a ruling released Friday, Sept. 3, 2021 said it would be impossible to create a complete list of words prosecutors and witnesses can’t use at Nikolas Cruz’s upcoming trial for the 2018 killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, Pool, File)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A judge says a former student accused of murdering 17 people at a Florida high school cannot be called “animal” or “that thing” during his upcoming trial.

Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer ruled Friday that it’s impossible to create a complete list of words prosecutors and witnesses won’t be allowed to use to describe Nikolas Cruz.

She sided with his lawyers in ruling out derogatory terms when he’s tried for the 2018 killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland. But she rejected a defense request that Cruz not be called “school shooter,” “killer” or “murderer.”

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