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Judge dismisses 60 potential jurors in Parkland shooter sentencing trial

Elizabeth Scherer - DAY 4 - Parkland-Sentencing.jpeg
Amy Beth Bennett
South Florida Sun Sentinel
Judge Elizabeth Scherer participates in a sidebar discussion via headphones during jury pre-selection in the penalty phase of the trial of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale on Monday. Cruz previously pleaded guilty to all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings.

A judge dismissed an entire panel of 60 jurors Monday afternoon after too many became visibly upset at the prospect of deciding the fate of the Parkland mass shooter.

The emotional moment was the most challenging part of a day that otherwise went smoothly, but it served as a reminder of the passionate currents running through the sentencing trial of Nikolas Cruz, who is facing the death penalty for 17 counts of murder.

Eight potential jurors — seven women and one man — were escorted from the courtroom when they could not contain their reaction to learning they might be picked to serve on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting jury.

Read more from our news partner at The South Florida Sun Sentinel.