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UNITED NATIONS, Nov 2 (Reuters) – The United States will try to remove Iran from the 45-member U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) over the government’s denial of women’s rights and brutal crackdown on protests, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said on Wednesday.
Iran is just starting a four-year term on the commission, which meets annually every March and aims to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women.
“The United States believes that no nation that systematically abuses the rights of women and girls should play a role in any international or United Nations body charged with protecting these very same rights,” Harris said in a statement.
Iran has been gripped by protests since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody last month. The unrest has turned into a popular revolt by Iranians from all layers of society, posing one of the boldest challenges to the clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution.
Iran has blamed its foreign enemies and their agents for the unrest.
“Iran has demonstrated through its denial of women’s rights and brutal crackdown on its own people that it is unfit to serve on this Commission,” Harris said.
The United States and Albania held an informal U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday, putting a spotlight on protests in Iran sparked by the death of a young woman in police custody. The meeting aimed to look for ways to promote credible, independent investigations into Iranian human rights abuses.
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi and Iranian-born actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi both spoke at the meeting.
Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani accused the United States on Wednesday of trying to interfere in Iran’s domestic affairs. He wrote to U.N. states earlier this week to urge them not to attend the meeting.
“Iran has consistently rejected the politicization of human rights issues and manipulation of the UN system by certain states to advance their short-sighted political objectives,” Iravani told reporters.
Iran’s U.N. mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the U.S. bid to oust it from the CSW.
Members of the CSW are elected by the 54-member U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which promotes international cooperation on economic, social, cultural, educational, health and related issues.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Ismail Shakil and Cynthia Osterman
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Drake and 21 Savage‘s new joint album, Her Loss, is slated to drop in a few days and the dynamic duo have added more anticipation for the project by teasing a Tiny Desk concert, which NPR, the outlet that produces TD, has confirmed is a spoof.
On Wednesday (Nov. 2), Drake and 21 Savage debuted a teaser video for what they are promoting as an upcoming Tiny Desk concert. In the clip, the two rappers are sitting in what appears to be the Tiny Desk studio. Drizzy begins with an audience intro.
“What’s up, everybody. I appreciate you joining us today. All the audience and everybody at home,” Drake says as a nearby guitarist lays a funky bass riff in the background. After both rappers introduce themselves, Drake continues, “This is our Tiny Desk.”
For those unfamiliar, Tiny Desk is a YouTube series from NPR where artists perform in a very small setting at the NPR office backed by a live band. While the idea of Drake and 21 Savage participating in the beloved series is fascinating, it sadly is not the case.
NPR’s official Twitter account has confirmed the teaser is not for an actual Tiny Desk concert.
“Let’s do it forreal tho,” NPR posted along with smirking face and clapping hands emojis.
Previous to NPR’s revelation, there were some aspects of the teaser that leaned toward the promo actually being for an upcoming music video, including the set not matching TD’s setup, the camera filter being off and the company logo font at the end of the video being different.
After a week delay, Drake and 21 Savage’s Her Loss album is set to drop on Nov. 4.
Check Out the Video for Drake and 21 Savage’s Faux Tiny Desk Teaser Below
See Drake’s Best TV Show References
Don’t watch him, watch TV.
A family of four was traveling south on Highway 281 near Parkdale at 8:43 p.m. Monday, “following behind an SUV that was driving erratically,” according to a statement from the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office.
When the SUV pulled over, the family “slowed to get a description of the suspect vehicle,” before a “male subject stepped out of the passenger side and fired multiple rounds from a handgun at the passing” car, according to the sheriff.
The alleged shooter was later identified as Dowen Jones, the 47-year-old mayor Rufus, a city with fewer that 270 residents about 100 miles east of downtown Portland, the sheriff said.
No one in the family car, two adults and two children, 5 and 8 years old, was wounded.
Jones was booked on suspicion of attempted murder and four counts of attempted assault.
He’s being held in lieu of $100,000 bail and made a brief court appearance Wednesday.
Jones did not immediately qualify for a public defender and will have to hire an attorney before his next court appearance, set for Nov. 10, officials said.
Rufus City Administrator Brenda Coleman declined comment Wednesday afternoon, and no one picked up a publicly listed phone number for Jones.
Jones, an electrician in his 9-to-5 life, won election in 2018, collecting 76 votes, far ahead of candidates who received four write-in votes.
Council President Scott Holliday said his fellow lawmakers have yet to meet to discuss what action could or should be taken against Jones.
The allegations are totally out of character for the well-liked mayor, according to Holliday.
“It’s terrible. He’s a good man. It’s crazy,” Holliday said Wednesday afternoon.
“Nobody understands what exactly happened, much less why. People think the world of him. He’s just a good guy. So it’s very, very grieving for something like this (to happen). Nobody wants to see somebody that they like, that they know and that they like a lot, in trouble.”
Donna Mendell contributed.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Two days of emotional hearings concluded Wednesday when a judge sentenced Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz to life in prison without parole.
The sentence, handed down by Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer, was a formality after a jury last month voted to spare Cruz of the death penalty. Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of murder.
In the two days preceding the Judge’s decision, anguished family members of victims verbally condemned Cruz and levied criticisms at defense attorneys.
The life sentence comes more than four years after the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history, in which Cruz shot and killed 17 people and injured others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The jury’s decision was met with dismay and disgust by the victims’ family members, the last of whom spoke Wednesday before Scherer passed down the sentence.
Survivors, family members lash out
When he pleaded guilty, Cruz asked for forgiveness. He got none of that Wednesday, as speaker after speaker condemned him in the courtroom.
The statements were similar to those made Tuesday, when family members told Cruz he will “burn in hell.”
Annika Dworet, whose 17-year-old son Nicholas was killed in the shooting, asked what crime, if not Cruz’s, could warrant the death penalty. She read aloud the names of the 17 who died.
On Wednesday, Samantha Fuentes, a survivor of the shooting and former JROTC classmate of Cruz’s, asked the gunman if he remembered her “little battered, bloody face” staring back at him as Cruz sprayed bullets through the window of her classroom door. She could have sworn they locked eyes.
Cruz stared at her without reaction from his seat at the defense table.
Three students died by suicide in the aftermath of the shooting, Fuentes told him. She lives in fear and has struggled with sducidal thoughts, she said.
She picked apart the image of Cruz built by his attorneys — one wracked with mental illness and brain damage.
Some families pushed back against defense attorneys who on Tuesday requested angry victim impact statements aimed at them be reigned in, suggesting that some statements could incite violence.
“Are you freaking kidding me?” said Michael Schulman, the stepfather of Scott Beigel. “Ask me if I feel sorry for Mr. Wheeler, or Ms. McNeill, who had such thin skins that they objected during this proceeding.”
‘LISTEN TO YOUNG PEOPLE’:Americans want stricter gun safety measures. Gen Z will help us get there.
Sentencing closes years-long case
Cruz, who was 19 at the time of the massacre and now 24, pleaded guilty in 2021 to killing 17 people and wounding 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018. The stories of the victims’ execution were retold in graphic detail over the course of the three-month trial.
The culmination of that protracted and painful ordeal with a life sentence rather than death shocked many family members.
Alyssa Alhadeff’s parents said they didn’t doubt their daughter’s killer would be sentenced to death. They said the years-long trial was torture, but the eventual verdict was worse.
“This should have been the death penalty one hundred percent,” said Alyssa’s mother, Lori Alhadeff. “I sent my daughter to school, and she was shot eight times.”
Though jurors found aggravating factors such as Cruz’s cold and calculated behavior were enough to warrant a death penalty, at least one juror believed they were outweighed by mitigating circumstances – Cruz’s troubled upbringing, age or mental illness struggles.
Legal experts have speculated multiple jurors were against the death penalty because of the jury’s short deliberation time of little more than a day.
Defense attorneys had argued Cruz’s birth mother’s alcohol abuse left him with severe behavioral problems that eventually led to his 2018 murder of 17 people.
Contributing: Claire Thornton, USA TODAY; Jorge Milian, Palm Beach Post.
Hannah Phillips is a journalist covering public safety and criminal justice at The Palm Beach Post. You can reach her at [email protected]
Leslie ‘Les’ Moonves, president and chief executive officer of CBS Corp.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Paramount Global and former CBS chief Les Moonves agreed to make additional payments to settle an investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s office, which disclosed further allegations involving the Los Angeles Police Department’s role in the matter on Wednesday.
The investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James found that a commanding officer with the LAPD had tipped off the former CBS chief executive and other executives in 2018 about sexual assault allegations before they were made public.
According to a filing from James’ office, the LAPD officer left this voice message for CBS executive Ian Metrose: “I know we haven’t talked in a while. I am a captain at LAPD Hollywood. Somebody walked in the station about a couple hours ago and made allegations against your boss regarding a sexual assault. It’s confidential, as you know, but call me, and I can give you some of the details and let you know what the allegation is before it goes to the media or gets out. So all right talk to you after a while. Bye.”
The findings also allege one of the senior executives sold millions of dollars’ worth of shares based off of the information and before they went public. James said CBS allowed the executive, Gil Schwartz, to sell over 160,000 shares, or more than $8 million worth, six weeks before an article about the allegations against Moonves was published. Schwartz, who wrote books under the pen name Stanley Bing, including “Crazy Bosses: Spotting Them, Serving Them, Surviving Them,” died in 2020.
James said she referred the matter to the California Attorney General’s office. A representative for the LAPD declined to comment. CNBC has reached out to Moonves’ representatives and Metrose, who still works at the company. Paramount declined to comment further on him.
“We are pleased to resolve this matter concerning events from 2018 with the New York Attorney General’s office, without any admission of liability or wrongdoing,” a Paramount spokesperson said Wednesday. “The matter involved alleged misconduct by CBS’s former CEO, who was terminated for cause in 2018, and does not relate in any way to the current company.”
CBS and Viacom merged in 2019, later changing the company’s name to Paramount Global.
The investigation found text messages between the LAPD captain, top-ranking CBS executives and Moonves that revealed the allegations. The captain also worked with executives for several months to prevent the complaint from becoming public, according to the attorney general’s release on Wednesday.
Moonves left CBS in 2018 after allegations of sexual misconduct and cultural problems in the company. Following his exit, the board hired two law firms to investigate the allegations, finding there were ground to fire the executive for cause. Moonves has previously denied the accusations.
As part of filings related to Paramount’s third quarter earnings on Wednesday, the company reported it agreed to pay $7.25 million to shareholders, while Moonves will pay $2.5 million. This is in addition to the $14.25 million earlier paid by Paramount in the settlement.
“CBS and Leslie Moonves’ attempts to silence victims, lie to the public, and mislead investors can only be described as reprehensible,” James said in the Wednesday release. “As a publicly traded company, CBS failed its most basic duty to be honest and transparent with the public and investors.”
The settlement also bars Moonves from serving as an officer or director of a company that does business in New York without first gaining approval from they attorney general’s office.
Paramount said in public filings Wednesday that the company reached a deal with the Investor Protection Bureau of the New York attorney general’s office without admitting wrongdoing or liability.
Stocks seesawed on Wednesday, but eventually ended the day lower, after Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, dashed investors’ hopes that an end to the central bank’s rate increases may soon be over.
The S&P 500 slumped to a loss of 2.5 percent for the day, after fluctuating between gains and losses as Mr. Powell spoke during an afternoon news conference about the Fed’s latest decision.
Stocks had started the day lower as investors braced for the Fed to raise interest rates a further 0.75 percentage points. The central bank followed through on that expectation, but attention quickly shifted to what the Fed was thinking about interest rate increases to come.
The Fed’s initial statement, released alongside its rate decision, appeared to point to a more cautious approach, accounting for the large rate increases that have already happened and noting that it may still take time for the economic effect of those rate increases to be felt.
The S&P 500 rallied soon after the statement was released, climbing into positive territory. But the rebound quickly became unstuck when Mr. Powell began his public comments, as he reiterated that the central bank “still has a ways to go” before it will be finished raising interest rates, and noted that because inflation has remained stubbornly elevated, interest rates may need to go higher than previously expected.
It’s “very premature” to be talking about pausing rate increases, he said. Investors quickly responded, and the S&P 500 fell sharply. Trading in government bonds was similarly upended, with yields rising in the late afternoon after falling earlier in the day. The two-year Treasury yield, which is sensitive to changes in Fed policy, ended 0.06 percentage points higher at 4.59 percent.
What the Fed’s Rate Increases Mean for You
A toll on borrowers. The Federal Reserve has been raising the federal funds rate, its key interest rate, as it tries to rein in inflation. By raising the rate, which is what banks charge one another for overnight loans, the Fed sets off a ripple effect. Whether directly or indirectly, a number of borrowing costs for consumers go up.
“Whoa! If you’re the kid in the back asking if we are nearly there yet and Dad says we have a ways to go then you buckle in for a journey,” said Rob Waldner, chief fixed income strategist at Invesco. “I was struck by that.”
Investors had hoped going into Wednesday’s Fed meeting that a potential easing of the pace of rate increases may be on the cards.
The S&P 500 rose roughly 8 percent in October, partly on better-than-expected corporate earnings but also as some investors began to bet that a pivot in the Fed’s messaging was coming.
While Mr. Powell made statements similar to those he had in the past over the need to eventually slow interest rate increases, the takeaway for investors on Wednesday was that the Fed’s focus remains firmly on tackling inflation.
Yet some investors also questioned how clear the Fed was itself on what needs to happen to persuade it to stop raising interest rates. Mr. Waldner said investors were left unsure of what the central bank would do next — unclear about how high rates would go, how long they would stay that high and what would need to happen for the Fed to alter its path.
“Until we answer those questions, there will be continued volatility,” he said.
Seth Carpenter, global chief economist at Morgan Stanley, said before Mr. Powell’s news conference that he was also waiting for more specificity on when the Fed might deem it appropriate to stop raising interest rates.
He noted that the Fed’s initial statement, released before Mr. Powell gave his remarks, said that the central bank was trying to get to a position where inflation would fall “over time.” Those words suggest that inflation does not have to decline back to the Fed’s target of 2 percent but perhaps only stop accelerating, as it has done in recent months.
“How clear are they in their own minds for the conditions needed to dial down hikes and eventually stop them?” Mr. Carpenter said.
The Justice Department on Wednesday announced what officials called the first national takedown of a criminal enterprise profiting from the rampant theft of catalytic converters.
The scope of the car parts operation was huge: Officials said they will seek $545 million in forfeitures of cash, luxury cars and real estate.
“Amidst a rise in catalytic converter thefts across the country, the Justice Department has today carried out an operation arresting 21 defendants and executing 32 search warrants in a nation-wide takedown of a multimillion-dollar catalytic converter theft network,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.
Thefts of catalytic converters — an antipollution car part laden with platinum, palladium and rhodium — have exploded since the pandemic began, fueled by a surge in the value of those metals. Thieves made off with 12 times as many catalytic converters in 2021 as they did in 2019, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
In April, a deputy sheriff in Houston was shot and killed when he tried to stop thieves from stealing his converter.
Agents from the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigations and Homeland Security Investigations conducted operations in California, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, and Virginia. Two separate indictments in California and Oklahoma accuse the defendants of conspiracy to traffic in stolen property, alleging they bought stolen converters, stripped the valuable minerals and sold them to metal refineries.
Agents raided a $1.7 million home in Holmdel, New Jersey, allegedly owned by one of the accused, Navin “Lovin” Khanna. On his Instagram account, he posted a photo of a necklace with a pendant made to look like a catalytic converter. He could not be reached for comment.
A California indictment says Khanna operated DG Auto, which government records show has facilities in New Jersey and Wisconsin. Prosecutors say that was among the businesses allegedly purchasing stolen catalytic converters and reselling them. Federal agents also searched a business in Wrightstown, New Jersey, called Blacey’s U-Pick Autoparts.
Calls to DG Auto and Blacey’s were not answered, and the DG firm’s voice mailbox was full.
A federal grand jury in the Northern District of Oklahoma charged 13 defendants with conspiracy to receive stolen catalytic converters, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and other related charges. Some of those defendants are accused of selling converters to the Khanna operation.
Law enforcement officials said Wednesday that they had seized numerous luxury cars as part of the investigation.
“This national network of criminals hurt victims across the country,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. “They made hundreds of millions of dollars in the process — on the backs of thousands of innocent car owners.
“Today’s charges showcase how the FBI and its partners act together to stop crimes that hurt all too many Americans.”
The gunman who carried out the Parkland school shooting has been formally sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury last month failed to unanimously recommend the death penalty, disappointing and angering many of the families of the 17 people he killed.
Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer imposed the statutorily mandated sentence Wednesday, ordering Nikolas Cruz, 24, to serve a life sentence with no possibility of parole for each of the 17 counts of murder to which he had pleaded guilty, with the sentences to run consecutively.
Additionally, Scherer imposed a sentence of life in prison with a minimum of 20 years to serve on 14 of the 17 counts of attempted murder, and life without the possibility of parole for the remaining three counts of attempted murder. All counts are to run consecutively, the judge ruled.
The end of the monthslong trial to decide Cruz’s fate came after two days of victim impact testimony in which families of those killed and survivors of the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida confronted the gunman, spelling out for the court what he took from them and expressing their anger he will not be put to death.
“It is heartbreaking how any person who heard and saw all this did not give this killer the worst punishment possible,” Annika Dworet, the mother of 17-year-old victim Nicholas Dworet, said Wednesday. “As we all know the worst punishment in the state of Florida is the death penalty. How much worse would the crime have to be to warrant the death penalty?”
“You robbed Alyssa (of) a lifetime of memories,” Lori Alhadeff, the mother of 14-year-old victim Alyssa Alhadeff, said to the gunman. “Alyssa will never graduate from high school. Alyssa will never go to college, and Alyssa will never play soccer. She will never get married and she will never have a baby.”
“My hope for you is that you are miserable for the rest of your pathetic life,” Lori Alhadeff added. “My hope for you is that the pain of what you did to my family burns and traumatizes you every day.”
Cruz pleaded guilty last year to the 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in connection to the shooting, which, despite the continued American gun violence epidemic, remains the deadliest mass shooting at a US high school.
The state sought the death penalty, and so Cruz’s trial moved to the sentencing phase, in which a jury was tasked with hearing prosecutors and defense attorneys argue reasons they felt he should or should not be put to death.
The prosecution argued, in part, the shooting was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel and was premeditated and calculated. The defense, pushing for a life sentence, pointed to the shooter’s mental or intellectual deficits they said stemmed from prenatal alcohol exposure.
Three jurors were persuaded to vote for life, sparing Cruz a death sentence, which in Florida a jury must unanimously recommend. Scherer must follow the jury’s recommendation of life without parole, per state law.
Throughout the testimony this week, the gunman remained emotionless, wearing a red prison jumpsuit and eyeglasses. He also wore a medical mask, though he removed it Wednesday after Jennifer Guttenberg, the mother of 14-year-old victim Jaime, told him it was disrespectful.
“You shouldn’t be sitting there with a mask on your face. It’s disrespectful to be hiding your expressions under your mask when we as the families are sitting here talking to you,” she said during her testimony. “Lowered down in your seat. Hunched over trying to make yourself look innocent, when you’re not, because you admitted to what you did. And everybody knows what you did.”
The gunman then took off the mask, but his facial expression did not change.
Of those killed, 14 were students, and three were staff members who perished running toward danger or trying to help students to safety.
The slain students were: Alyssa Alhadeff, 14; Martin Duque Anguiano, 14; Nicholas Dworet, 17; Jaime Guttenberg, 14; Luke Hoyer, 15; Cara Loughran, 14; Gina Montalto, 14; Joaquin Oliver, 17; Alaina Petty, 14; Meadow Pollack, 18; Helena Ramsay, 17; Alex Schachter, 14; Carmen Schentrup, 16; and Peter Wang, 15.
Geography teacher Scott Beigel, 35; wrestling coach Chris Hixon, 49; and assistant football coach Aaron Feis, 37, also were killed.
The life sentence fell short of what many of those Cruz wounded and the families of those he killed wanted. Some said in testimony this week it indicated the jury gave more weight to his life than to the lives of the 17 dead.
“It’s really, really sad. I miss my little boy,” Max Schachter, Alex Schachter’s father, told CNN Wednesday before the sentencing. “It’s not right that the worst high school shooter in US history basically gets what he wants,” he said, referring to Cruz’s life sentence.
Samantha Fuentes, one of the shooting survivors, faced Cruz Wednesday, admitting she was “angry” about his sentence. But unlike him, she said, “I’ll never take my anger, pain and suffering out on others because I am stronger than you. This entire community that stands behind me is stronger than you.”
Fuentes reminded Cruz they walked the same hallways and were even in JROTC together.
“We were still children back then,” she said. “I was still a child when I saw you standing in the window, peering into my Holocaust studies class, holding your AR-15 that had swastikas, ironically, scratched into it. I was still a child after I watched you kill two of my friends. I was still a child when you shot me with your gun.”
Another student, Victoria Gonzalez, Joaquin Oliver’s girlfriend, similarly reminded the gunman that they, too, had shared a class together, recalling how the teacher would go around the room each day asking students for an answer from their homework to make sure each student had done it. Each day, she said, she hoped that Cruz had his – for his sake.
“I was rooting for you silently in my desk. You had no idea who I was and I was rooting for you,” Gonzalez said. “Because I felt like you needed someone or you needed something. And I could feel that.”
But Joaquin’s murder has made it hard for Gonzalez to make friends, to get close to others, she said, and to allow others to love her in the way he did.
“I wish that you met Joaquin,” she said. “Because he would have been your friend. He would have extended a hand to you.”
Michael Schulman, the father of Scott Beigel, told the court about the geography teacher’s altruistic nature and the impact he left on his students and cross-country athletes. The gunman stole not only a son, but a teacher, as well, he said.
“You are spineless and soulless monster. My son Scott was a human being – he still is – something you will never be and never were,” Schulman said.
Beigel’s mother, Linda Beigel Schulman, also addressed the court and the shooter, telling him, “I have never uttered your name, and I never will.”
She ended her statement by holding up a picture of the deceased victims. “These are the names and faces I want you to remember,” she said, including her son Scott, “who I will honor, cherish and love for every day of the rest of my life.”
See the moment judge dismisses member of Parkland shooter’s defense team
Some of the victim impact testimony this week was directed not only at Cruz but at the public defenders who represented him.
That led the defense to object, including Broward County Public Defender Gordon Weekes, who asked Scherer Tuesday to direct the state to encourage witnesses not to make statements to or about the lawyers. They were just doing their jobs as the law provides all criminal defendants a right to legal representation, he said.
That further angered some of the Parkland family members, including Fred Guttenberg, Jaime’s father, who called Wednesday for Weekes to resign.
“I understand that you have a job to do, defending the indefensible, defending a mass murderer of 17 people. I understand that was hard,” he said to the defense attorneys. “And you were doing your job as you were required to do. But I’m not sure anywhere along the way there was a requirement that you give up your humanity and your decency. That was a choice you made.”
A lot is still unclear about what Cruz’s future will look like. He’ll likely be held in Broward County custody before being handed over to the Florida Department of Corrections and taken to one of several reception centers across the state.
There, Cruz will spend weeks undergoing physical and mental examinations, Florida criminal defense attorney Janet Johnson has told CNN. “They’ll look at his record, they’ll look at the level of crime that he’s convicted of, which is obviously the highest, and they’ll recommend a facility somewhere in the state,” she said.
Which facility is determined by factors including the seriousness of the offense, the length of sentence and the inmate’s prior criminal record, per the Florida State Department of Corrections website. Typically, those convicted of the most serious offenses or with the longest sentences are placed in the most secure facilities, the website says.
Because Cruz is a high-risk offender, he will likely be placed in a prison with other high-profile or “very dangerous criminals,” Johnson said.
“But he wouldn’t be isolated, which of course, is a real threat for him because there may be people who want to do ‘prison justice,’ who didn’t feel that the sentence he got in court was enough,” Johnson added.
The corrections department did not answer CNN’s question about what kind of mental health treatment Cruz may receive while in prison. During the trial, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office released more than 30 pages of writings and drawings by Cruz which revealed disturbing thoughts he has had while in custody, focusing on guns, blood and death.
On one page, Cruz wrote that he wanted to go to death row, while on another he told his family he was sad and hoped to die of a heart attack by taking painkillers and through extreme eating.
As for the victims and their families, the end of the gunman’s trial marks simply the close of one chapter in a lifelong journey with grief.
“I want to put this behind me,” Max Schachter told CNN on Wednesday. “I’m going to court later today. He will be sentenced to life, and I will never think about this murderer again.”