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Zelenskyy Asks for More Air Defenses, "Kamikaze" Drones Targeting Infrastructure; Iran Protests Morphing into Broader Movement against Regime; U.S. Consumer Prices Up 8.2 Percent Year-over-Year; France Fuel Strike; Jury Reaches Verdict against Parkland Shooter; Jury Reaches Verdict against Parkland Shooter. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired October 13, 2022 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Massive shelling reported in southern Ukraine, as NATO defense ministers meet in Brussels.

Iran ramps up its crackdown in the regime's struggle to contain the growing uprising.

And the January 6 committee makes its closing arguments, less than a month before the November U.S. midterms.


ANDERSON: Welcome to the show, I'm Becky Anderson. It is just after 6 pm here in Abu Dhabi.

NATO defense ministers are meeting in Brussels for a second day after promising to send more air defense systems to Ukraine. The latest Russian

attacks, emphasizing the urgency of Ukraine's pleas to get those systems in terms of the country fast. The Kyiv region's military chief says the area

faced kamikaze drone strikes today. The Iranian made drones explode on impact after reaching their target, designed to inflict maximum damage. So

far, no casualties are reported.

To the south, the mayor of Mykolaiv reports massive shelling in that city overnight. The upper floors of a residential building destroyed, two deaths

reported there, one child rescued from the rubble. Crews are still searching for survivors.

Well, in Brussels, the NATO secretary general and the U.S. Defense Secretary both vowing that the alliance will stand by Ukraine for as long

as it takes. We'll hear from Jens Stoltenberg later this hour.

Germany delivering the first of four air to air missile systems to Ukraine this week but president Volodymyr Zelenskyy says his military has only 10

percent of what it needs to combat this Russian barrage.

All of this happening as Russian president Vladimir Putin meets his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Kazakhstan. Putin proposed a gas hub

plan involving the two countries. But the leaders reportedly did not discuss ways to resolve the conflict.

Fred Pleitgen in Kyiv this hour, Nic Robertson keeping an eye on all the diplomatic moves from London.

Let me start with you, Fred, an update on the barrage of attacks, once again, from Russia on Ukraine. The details, as I've just laid out.

What do we know?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: First of all, I think the word barrage is absolutely correct. It's certainly something that

seems to have happened once again, in large parts of the country.

In, fact just as we were going to air, just as you are speaking, the Ukrainian saying that apparently now some facility in the Lviv area has

also been hit by Russian missiles or some sort of other munition.

But it was really that strike in Mykolaiv, in the south of the country, that is certainly the one that seems to have been the most brutal. And it's

really those southern cities, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhya as well, that are taking the brunt of these Russian strikes.

In Mykolaiv, as you mentioned, there was a residential building that authorities say there was almost completely leveled, at least the top

stories of it. So far the Ukrainians are saying two people were killed in that. They did manage to rescue a child from the rubble, apparently an 11-

year-old child from the rubble.

That is certainly a piece of good, news but there are still people who are missing. Now Becky, the thing about the strike in Mykolaiv, this is

something that the Ukrainians pointed out, is that apparently S-300 missiles were used to strike that city.

Now those are missiles that are normally used against aircraft. They're actually surface to air missiles. But they can be used against ground

targets. However, if they are used against ground targets, they are very inaccurate.

That means, if they're used in a residential area, it leads to exactly what we saw there in Mykolaiv, which is residential buildings being leveled and

also carnage among the civilian population.

That's also why the Ukrainians are saying they quickly need more surface to air missiles. It was interesting, because I was speaking to an adviser to

the presidential administration here in Kyiv yesterday.

And he said, essentially, the Ukrainians have two problems. On the one, hand they have a lot of problems replenishing the missile systems that they

already have, getting new surface to air missiles for the Soviet style systems that they have. They are running out.

And then, of course, also they say they need those new, modern Western weapons that are much more effective at combating especially cruise

missiles, Becky.

ANDERSON: It's those issues that Ukraine is facing that are being discussed, of course, by NATO ministers. Fred, thank you.


ANDERSON: Let's bring in Nic Robertson. What are we getting out of this meeting?

What is Ukraine getting going forward?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, it gets public commitments and pledges from the British to supply missiles that will work

with the U.S. surface to air or missile defense system that the United States is going to send.

The Dutch have proposed, we've heard from the French as well, about the radar systems and missile defense systems that they are going to send to

Ukraine. So it all sort of gets put there on the table.

But then it's what happens in the back rooms there at NATO that is perhaps the most important part. You get a hint of it, the British supplied

missiles compatible with the U.S. defense system.

So who can contribute what?

And most importantly, how do you put it together in the most effective way and get it quickly to Ukraine?

That is what's being discussed. And again, reiteration of the commitments that NATO is in it for the long haul. They're there to help Ukraine as long

as the war goes on.

ANDERSON: Yes, commitments are one thing. Working out just how quickly these talks can affect military hardware, which will make a difference for

the Ukrainians on the ground in the theater of war, of course, is another.

As those talks are going on in Brussels, we see images of Vladimir Putin in Kazakhstan meeting today, importantly, with the Turkish president.

What do we know?

ROBERTSON: I think what you're witnessing here is big geostrategic power plays. Putin seems emboldened by his meeting this week not only with the

president at the UAE, the emir of Qatar it seems has met with him today as well.

But meeting with President Erdogan. This proposal that Putin will pivot away from his oil and gas pipelines that run through the Baltic Sea to the

Black Sea, with this proposal potentially for a pipeline that will run through a hub in Turkiye. This was his proposal.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): If there is interest from Turkiye and from our potential buyers in other countries, we

could have considered the possibility of building another gas pipeline and the creation of a gas supply hub in Turkiye to supply gas to other

countries; first of, all to the European countries, if they are interested, obviously.


ROBERTSON: OK. And the readout from the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, is that there was a lot of interest shown by the Turkish side and both

Putin and Erdogan, according to the Kremlin, have told their respective officials to go away and work out how this can be done.

What are we learning here?

One is that Putin, apparently, still believes that Europe is going to have to buy gas from him. I think you can look at this as Putin sort of trying

to leverage off perhaps Hungary and other parts of Europe so that Europe is more divided, perhaps with the possibility of supplying Italy, a way to

divide Europe.

But I think the bigger power play here is to get Erdogan in his pocket. Erdogan is short of money; a pipeline with a hub in Turkiye is a money

winner for Erdogan. Obviously, the details are far from worked out.

But Putin knows that Erdogan is vulnerable and this is something that is potentially a way to win the Turkish leader and Turkiye more over to his

side. Let's not forget, Turkiye is trying to play the middleman here, has been supplying drones to good effect to the authorities in Kyiv.

But here is Putin putting a pitch on the table for Erdogan that would put much-needed money in Erdogan's pocket; therefore, influence from Putin.

ANDERSON: Nic, just talking about drones there. There is Iranian influence -- Fred as well -- in all of this, these "kamikaze" drone attacks. I put

"kamikaze" in inverted commas here; these are Iranian made drones that are known as kamikaze drones, involved in the attacks on the Kyiv region, for


Very briefly, just what sort of impact does that sort of equipment specifically, that equipment for the Russians, have?

PLEITGEN: Well, I think they become another headache for the Ukrainians. You're absolutely right, they call them kamikaze drones or loitering

munitions, which is essentially an explosive charge that crashes into, after loitering for a while, crashes into buildings or any other targets.

The Ukrainians say they're able to shoot most of those down. They are very slow flying, very low flying. So they can be shot down very easily. The big

problem the Ukrainians have is they always attack in swarms. So it's hard to take all of them all out.

They're cheap, they're fairly easy to use for the Russians, so they are having somewhat of an impact on the battlefield. If you look, at for,

instance the overnight hours of tonight, Becky, there were several strikes here.


PLEITGEN: Actually in the Kyiv area, one just north of Kyiv in the Bucha district, where two areas were struck. And then Makarov to the west. So

certainly, they are having an effect, probably not as big as the Russians thought but they are a headache for the Ukrainians, Becky.

ANDERSON: To both of, you thank you very much indeed for joining us.

More people in more cities taking to the streets in Iran, as protests are poised to move into a second month. Our second story for you today is Iran,

they are spreading, despite scenes like this.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Police, cracking down -- and then there is this. Shots fired to get a crowd to disperse. The government, resorting to even

more desperate tactics. These images, from the pro reform agency, IranWire.

Stores closed here in solidarity with demonstrators. There's even talk of a general strike.


ANDERSON: So when does a protest develop into something bigger?

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is with us from Istanbul.

It's been a month since Mahsa Amini's arrest. Mahsa Amini's death, of course, lit a spark. And a month, on these protests continue.

Is it clear where we are at this point?

And what happens next, join me now?

You've been covering the story day in a day out now for the past month.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, Becky, I don't think anyone expected these protests to last as long as they have. I mean, I've been

speaking with Iranians outside of the country, those we've been able to reach inside Iran, experts who know the country so well and have watched it

for years.

And no one really knows where this is headed. No one knows where it goes next. You are looking at a leaderless, spontaneous protest movement, as you

mentioned, that was sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini.

Four weeks into it, protests taking place in every corner of the country. There are different reasons why people are protesting. There are different

grievances. Whatever motivates people here is different in every part of the country.

But there is one thing that unites these protesters and it is these loud and clear calls that we have been hearing now for regime change. And the

regime is struggling to contain what many are now describing as a national uprising.


KARADSHEH (voice-over): Calls for nationwide protests on Wednesday brought Iranians back onto the streets of cities across the country.

Protesters undeterred by a ruthless regime's crackdown on peaceful demonstrations. And they were met with utter brutality. Baton swinging

policemen beating up those who tried to get away.

And this disturbing scene caught on camera. Plainclothes security forces opening fire on the streets of Tehran, after a small group gathered

chanting, "Mullahs, get lost."

But perhaps the most terrifying response to protest this week is the government's decision to detain schoolchildren protesting and send them to

psychological institutions to be "reformed and reeducated." A chilling message from a regime that now appears to feel threatened by fearless young

school girls.

A regime clearly under pressure, not only struggling to contain protests, they're spreading like a wildfire. Now facing strikes that could hit an

economy already on its knees.

Some oil workers now striking blocking roads and burning tires, their strikes so far limited and not unusual but some are now joining in the

anti-regime chance.

This could be a sign of trouble the government literally can't afford.

ROHAM ALVENDI, IRAN HISTORIAN: Strikes have historically played a very important role in Iranian revolts. The oil and gas industry, of course, is

particularly sensitive because that is where much of the state's hard currency earnings are derived from.

KARADSHEH: Many businesses in the mostly Kurdish region have been shuttered for days, as calls grow for a national general strike.

ALVENDI: There is a general strike, if there is a nationwide general strike, I mean, what can the government do really?

I mean, you can't send troops into people's homes, to drag them out and force them to go to work. So you know, that would completely paralyze the

state and would show the powerlessness of the state in the face of this movement.


KARADSHEH (voice-over): A movement of nationwide protests that's morphed into an uprising growing stronger by the day, proving harder and harder for

the repressive republic to control.


KARADSHEH: And Becky, even if the regime does manage to contain these protests, it is not the end. They are going to have to be dealing with this

for years to come. Protesters who we have spoken to say, look, we are not the previous generation. We are not going to stop until this regime is


ANDERSON: Jomana Karadsheh on the story, appreciate, it thank you very much.

Meantime a U.S. citizen being held in Iran was returned to prison after what was a brief furlough. That is according to his family. Siamak Namazi

was temporarily freed last week, he has been detained for seven years on espionage charges, which he denies.

You may recall his 85-year-old father who was also imprisoned in Iran was allowed to leave the country for medical treatment.

These are names you must not forget.

Just ahead, the inflation fight in the world's largest economy is far from over. I will show you what the latest U.S. report reveals up next and there

may be some movement in what is a fuel strike gripping France. CNN has been hearing from one of the oil giants involved in the crisis.

And it is almost unheard of in Beijing, protesters unfurl signs, calling the Chinese president a dictator and a traitor.

What is behind their anger?

That is next.




ANDERSON: Inflation in the U.S. remains stubbornly high. The Consumer Price Index rose 8.2 percent last month from a year ago. That is hotter

than expected. It rose 2.4 percent from September from the previous month, which is more than expected.

CPI closely watched by the Federal Reserve as the U.S. central bank battles America's white hot inflation.

Wall Street took a dive on the news, down about 0.5 percent on the Dow at present so it has climbed back somewhat. But the IMF warning of global

financial risk as it meets in Washington, D.C., not doing these markets any favors whatsoever. CNN's Richard Quest is in Washington and will host a

panel on the global economy in the coming hours.

Before he does that, he had the time to join us live.

It is good to have you, Richard. This is not a great picture, not as far as the central bank in the U.S. is concerned. And this will not be a great

picture as far as the global economy is concerned.


ANDERSON: Explain why.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Because the hope is that inflation would start to moderate. And what this number shows is it's far from it. It did not hit

the lower target that was expected. And if you look underneath the numbers, particularly stripping out food and the like, then you end up with a core

of 6 percent.

Which shows, Becky, inflation is entrenched, exactly what the central banks did not want. That means that they will continue to raise interest rates

until inflation is squeezed out.

Today's report is confirmation that there will not be an easing up or a lesser rate rise. It will go the full throttle. I talked about it with the

IMF managing director just a few moments ago. And she made it clear, the numbers as they look at the moment are worrying for everyone.


KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IMF: We need to continue to fight inflation until we win this fight and the Fed is going to do exactly that.

Why is it necessary?

Because if we lose price stability, we undermine growth and we hit people's well-being.


QUEST: So, the issue, Becky, becomes how to raise interest rates, squeeze out inflation and at the same time, help those most in need, particularly

emerging markets, developing countries who have got vast debts.

ANDERSON: When you just take a sort of broad look at this and drill down a little bit, a rise in rates -- talking about those who need it most; you

are absolutely right to acknowledge the damage that this can do to developing economies -- when you just concentrate on what is happening in

the United States, for example, higher interest rates, squeezing those who have mortgages. You have a high dollar as a result of it.

That is difficult for U.S. companies.

What should we expect to see going forward?

These are tough times.

QUEST: Yes, I think the two things that we can expect, one, higher interest rates; whether it be the Fed, the ECB, the Bank of England, how

far is slightly immaterial but rates are going higher until they see sustained reduction in inflation.

Secondly you will say great hardship in places like the U.K., where there is a preponderance of variable rate mortgages. The U.S. has more fixed rate

so people with those will be mostly OK. You will see a reduction in new lending.

And then you have the emerging markets, time and again I have lost count, how many times I have been here and heard don't forget those who will feel

the spillover effects. What a horrible phrase but basically the dirty linen being washed in the West will eventually end up on the shores of other

countries that are less fortunate.

ANDERSON: Yes and you have to remember that post COVID-19 these were countries that were heavily debt laden --


ANDERSON: as Kristalina Georgieva has been warning now for two years, is really swingeing. Thank you, Richard, look forward to hearing more from

that. Good luck with the panel. It is an important one.

Rumors, just rumors that the U.K. government is planning another U-turn on the so-called mini budget. It's supporting the pound. Let's take a look at


The pound at 1.1211. That is what it's trading against the dollar. It hit its highest level all week earlier today. A spokesperson for prime minister

Liz Truss denied any more U-turns were coming. Clearly the market is not buying that.

We will get more for you as we get it here at CNN. And we are learning there is a new offer on the table in the French fuel strikes. TotalEnergies

tells us it's proposing a 6 percent salary increase for its refinery employees in 2023. No response yet from the striking labor unions.

Earlier the French government telling the oil giant to hike wages. Now the national nationwide walkout is draining the country's oil supplies. Let's

bring in Jim Bittermann in Paris.

Herein lies the problem because it is not just in France but around the world, the idea of wage price inflation and a spiral is what these central

banks are trying to avoid.

But in France it seems that the government is on the side at least of these striking union members, who want to see an increase in their wages in an

industry which is really, really in focus at present with the energy crisis, the idea of energy security being so high as we move toward what

could be a very cold winter.



BITTERMANN: I think there are some glimmers of hope as far as the strike is concerned and the fact that at least one of the refineries has settled -

- it is an Esso refinery, not Total but Esso -- and that leaves for refineries, four of the country's seven refineries still on strike.

The four that are on strike are run by Total and they have just announced just a few moments ago that they are going to have talks later on this

evening, in a couple of hours, with the unions. And the unions have agreed to that.

So it does show some sign of a deblocking with the thaw (ph) in the situation. It is, however, exactly what you say. The danger for the

government is that this idea, the 6 percent, the pay hike for these workers, which seems to be the thing that is going to help unblock the

situation, that 6 percent hike is going to filter across the entire society.

One of the more radical unions here has called for a general strike next week across all the different sectors in the French economy.

So if everybody comes in with their hand out for 6 percent, that really bumps up the country's inflation. And I think the government would really

be appalled if that were to happen, because they are trying to fight inflation here, just like everywhere else.

ANDERSON: You are not convinced these strikes are contained as of yet?

BITTERMANN: No, I do not think we can say that. And the other thing that should be said is that these lines that we are seeing outside of gas

stations, hours of waiting for a gasoline, that is not going to go away right away, even if everybody went back to work tomorrow.

It will still take some days to get the situation back to normal. So the situation is clearly not completely under control but there are at least

some positive signs throughout the day today. There have been some positive signs.

But it is also the kind of thing that's going to lead other workers to save themselves, wait a second, why shouldn't I be getting a 6 percent pay raise

like those oil refinery workers?

It is a contagion that is spreading.


ANDERSON: Yes, just for context, the French government weighing in here, telling TotalEnergies to raise wages as this standoff between the oil

refinery workers and the company continues, how unprecedented is this in France?

That the government would lean so heavily on these companies?

BITTERMANN: Well, it is not too unprecedented; I think there have been times in the past where the government sees the economy being crippled and

of course this is something that has really led to something that is very politically unpopular, which is to say your gasoline prices are not only

going up, which they have been, the government tried to stop that from happening by returning some money to motorists at the pump.

Your gas prices are not only going up but you can't get gasoline. For many people that are commuters and other people who use their cars, that really

was a blow. So I think the government had to do what they did -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Always good to have you.

Within minutes, we're expecting a decision from a Florida jury in the potential death penalty case of Nikolas Cruz, the confessed school shooter

from Parkland Florida, who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, 14 students and three school staff.

The jury could sentence Cruz to death or life in prison. We are told they have reached a decisions and we will get you live to Florida to hear what

that decision is after the break. Stay with us.




BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: And we are continuing to cover the breaking news out of Florida as we look live inside the Broward County courtroom

where at any moment we will learn the fate of the gunman behind the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

A jury has reached a decision on whether to sentence him to life or death - -


GOLODRYGA: -- or death or life in prison without the possibility of parole. CNN's Carlos Suarez is outside the courthouse in Ft. Lauderdale.

Carlos, what more can you tell us?

The jury began deliberations just yesterday.

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is exactly right, Bianna. They spent a full day deliberating whether or not Nikolas Cruz is going to die

for his actions.

They only had a few questions about some of the witness testimony and then one of the last things they did, at least to our understanding, is they

asked to see that AR-15, that Cruz used, in court.

Now, the jury was looking at 17 counts of first degree murder. Cruz had already pleaded guilty to each of one of those counts, so they were just

deciding his fate on every single one of those charges.

Essentially what they had to do was decide whether or not Cruz committed a -- an aggravating factor, essentially a reason that the state said that he

should be put to death. They had about five of them for each of the 17 victims.

The defense, they offered up dozens of what they called mitigating factors, reasons that they believe that Cruz should be spared his life and instead

should be sentenced to life in prison.

We were expecting the deliberation process to play out for a few more days just because each of the seven (sic) counts had four pages of questions

that the jurors needed to answer. Each of those questions was looking at the aggravating factors and the mitigating factors.

They -- it was possible that the jury could come back on an aggravating factor and a mitigating factor and then they had to decide whether or not

any of those factors outweighed the other.

Once they got that done, then they would go ahead and decide whether or not he would die for his actions in Parkland, Florida, back in 2018.

It is important to note that, in the state of Florida, a jury's decision on death has to be unanimous. But they only have to be unanimous on one of

these charges in order for Cruz to die. If the jury were to hold out on all of them, well, then Cruz would spend the rest of his life in prison without

the possibility of parole.

We are expecting the verdict to be read in court. My understanding is that Cruz is already back in the courtroom on the 17th floor of the judicial

building behind me. The Parkland families have been here throughout this entire process.

We've been covering this case since jury selection got underway five to six months ago and then the witness testimony got underway about three months

ago. And all of these family members have been in that courtroom every single day for several hours.

I mean, the witness testimony at times would go on for four to five hours and sometimes would you only hear from two people a day. The jury

themselves, they visited the school.

They got a look at a 14-minute piece of video, showing Cruz going floor by floor at the school, shooting these 17 people. They got a look at all of

the autopsy photos and so now they are just waiting to come out, deliver their verdict and then we'll learn whether or not Nikolas Cruz will die for

what he did in Parkland, Florida.

GOLODRYGA: Cruz was 19 at the time of the shooting and 24 years old now. We see the families there as you said. They have been there throughout this

trial and this is a big moment as we're expecting to hear from the jury.

I want to bring in Jean Casarez, who has been also following this trial, and legal analyst Paul Callan.

So Jean, let me ask you, to get your response to the moment the jury asked to see the AR-15 that was used in that murder.

How significant, if anything, was that?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a short deliberation. And they asked for a couple of things, one being the AR-15. And I think it is

fascinating that yesterday there was an issue because they didn't know if they had to go back to the jury room. The prosecutors said it has to go

back to the jury room.

So they took the firing pin out and this morning when they got to that jury room, the gun was right there. So that is significant.

But yesterday they asked for a readback of Dr. Paul Connor (ph), an expert on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, who testified that Nikolas Cruz was the

victim, you could say, of what his mother ingested while she was pregnant with him.

And it affected his brain and there was such an impact that it was in part responsible for what he did and why did he it.

Now, of course, they also got a readback of the cross-examination. But they did not want a readback of Dr. Paul Denny (ph), a clinical

neuropsychologist, who actually testified that Nikolas Cruz manipulated the numbers on his assessment test intentionally to make sure he looked as

bad as it could to help him so that the jury would not render a verdict of death.

They didn't want to hear that testimony. They just wanted the defense expert. And as we just heard, they have to be unanimous. And they obviously

have a verdict in this short period of time. But to render a verdict of death, it has to be unanimous. It is a recommendation only.


CASAREZ: In Florida, the judge decides what the ultimate decision is. She usually listens to the recommendation of the jury.

But if they were not able to get unanimity on death, it is life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Now they go through each and every victim, all 17. And if solely on one victim they believe that beyond a reasonable doubt that he should be

sentenced to death, then it is a death verdict.

And the prosecutor already proved some aggravating factors -- heinous, atrocious and cruel, things like that. And the jury has to believe beyond a

reasonable doubt at least one aggravating factor is in place for that verdict of death.

So the process is set up to be very, very foolproof. They really have to believe that. And it wasn't too long ago that it was changed to a unanimous

verdict in Florida. Before that there were other rules in Florida. But I've covered many death penalty cases in Florida and this is the shortest

deliberation I've ever seen.

GOLODRYGA: And so, Paul, what do you read in that, given that it was a short deliberation?

They just began yesterday and as of this morning they already reached a verdict.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I read it into that there are so many victims of this homicide. This is a mass shooting. It is one of the biggest

mass shootings in American history, not the biggest but certainly it is right up there.

And think when you see that many human beings slaughtered in a crime like this, that the death penalty is going to be seriously considered by a jury.

As Jean explained, the statute is very, very complicated in terms of what the jury has to go through. There are eight aggravating factors that are

listed as possibilities and there are mitigating factors -- I'm sorry; there are 16 aggravating factors and eight mitigating factors.

And the jury has to look at each one of these to decide whether the aggravating ones outweigh the mitigating ones. I think here, Brianna, when

they asked to see that AR-15 in the jury room, I think they were looking at the aggravating factor that has to do with the crime being particularly

heinous or cruel.

And think they wanted to look at the weapon and to try to make a decision as to whether killing somebody with a weapon like that AR-15 is an

aggravating factor under the statute. So that probably was the most important aggravating factor that the jury looked at. But we'll see that

eventually when we see their answers to the judge's questions.

GOLODRYGA: And, Carlos, talk about -- and you discussed this earlier -- the impact that the families, sitting there days after day throughout this

trial, that they brought to the courtroom and to potentially this verdict and decision by the jury.

They have not only been outspoken and been demanding justice for their loved ones immediately after the massacre but now, all these years later,

throughout the actual trial itself.

SUAREZ: Yes, that is exactly right. One of the more emotional weeks of the entire sentencing trial was when we heard from the family members. They all

went on the stand and talked about their loss, their grief and how they've -- many have not been able to move forward with their lives.

It is important to note that the jury was told that they were not to take into account any of the victims' statements when deciding whether or not

Cruz would die because of what he did back in 2018.

But to add to some of what has been said, to the observations being made here, one of the things that the prosecution spent a great deal of time and

effort through this entire process was trying to underscore, trying to highlight just how cruel Cruz was the day of the shooting.

During closing arguments, the prosecutor out here, he went into great detail, showing how, for some of his victims, Nikolas Cruz walked up to

them, shot them several times at point blank range just to make sure that they were dead.

The jury then also got a look at a 14-minute long piece of video, showing the shooting. And so at least, in our understanding of what was going on,

in the observations that were made in court, it seemed pretty clear that the prosecution was confident that they were going to be able to get some

of these aggravating factors on three to four of the students because they had spent so much time and effort walking the jury through how they died.

Joaquin Oliver, one of victims, he was hiding in a corner. And surveillance video at the school captured Cruz walking up to him and shooting him after

he had already been shot. And so our understanding is the surveillance video shows --


SUAREZ: -- Oliver already wounded when Cruz walks up to him and shoots him several times.

Peter Wang, one of the other students killed here, he was shot more than a dozen times, including in the head.

And that was something that the prosecution wanted jurors to remember as they went into this deliberation. And so it seemed that they were pretty

confident that they would get some of these aggravating factors on some of the students, if not all of the 17 victims.

GOLODRYGA: Again, we're looking at families there in a packed courtroom of the loved ones of the 17 that were murdered by Nikolas Cruz, 14 students

and three staff members, back in 2018.

And the jury has reached a verdict and stay with us. We're continuing to watch the process inside of that courtroom. In just minutes we're expecting

to hear the jury recommendation to be shared in the trial of Nikolas Cruz. Of course we'll bring it to you live.




GOLODRYGA: And we want to welcome our viewers in the U.S. and around the world. We continue to cover the breaking news out of Florida. We're looking

live inside a Broward County courtroom where we are closely watching and waiting for the verdict to be read in the penalty trial for the Parkland


I want to bring in Jean Casarez and Paul Callan.

So Jean, you have been following this trial since it began.

What stood out to you in the fact that, as we talked about before the break, this jury deliberated for 24 hours, if that?

CASAREZ: That is right. And one of aspects of deliberation in a death penalty trial is to go through all of the evidence because you're looking

to see if the aggravating and the mitigating factors are there.

This is really a balancing act for the jury. They're looking at the aggravating factors, which are everything that Carlos Suarez told us about,

from the scene there in Miami and also mitigating factors.

Why he should not get the death penalty. And what the defense brought out to the jury lifetimes of struggles in school and at home, born to a woman

who abused drugs and alcohol while she was pregnant, incorrect medical diagnoses that his brain was not fully formed at 19 years old when this

shooting took place, struggles with inconsistent administrations of medication, mental disorders.

So the jury has to look at all of this and balance it out to this young man that they have looked at every day now since April, jury selection time.

GOLODRYGA: And there you see contrasting the family members there, waiting for the verdict, and Cruz there, conferring with his counsel.

Paul, per Florida law, for a jury to sentence Cruz to death, it has to be a unanimous decision.

CALLAN: Yes, it does. And if there is a single juror among the 12 who has some kind of doubts about this or conscientious objections to the death

penalty -- and by the way, the juries are asked during voir dire --


CALLAN: -- as to whether they are capable of imposing the death penalty if the evidence warrants it.

But in my experience, I've seen cases where jurors, despite the voir dire, the careful questioning, some people have hesitation about the death

penalty that has nothing to do with the particular defendant.

If there is somebody like that on the jury who votes no, then life without parole will be the sentence that must be imposed by the court.

GOLODRYGA: And Jean, this decision is just a recommendation for the judge. The judge will ultimately decide.

CASAREZ: But the judge normally goes with what the jury recommends. I think it's rare; I think I've seen one case in Florida where the judge

actually deviates on what the jury recommends because they take that very seriously.

When we look at this -- and remember there are 17 that they will go through, that were killed. And even if, in just one of them, they decide

beyond a reasonable doubt, death is warranted, it is a death sentence. And so we have to listen to all of them.

But it is pages and pages of this verdict form. It is going to take a long time because they have to go through so much and aggravating factors. But

that is what a death penalty case is. It is very tedious and there are a lot of things that the jury has to be sure on and there is a right of

appeal also.

GOLODRYGA: Paul, what do you make of the defense's argument throughout the trial about Nikolas Cruz's background and upbringing, his mental

capabilities and mental acuity at that?

CALLAN: Well, I think they did a very good job in making a presentation on his behalf, given the atrocity of the crime that he committed.

There is, among what they call the mitigating circumstances of the eight that are listed, one in particular said, if there is anything in the

defendant's background that would mitigate, the jury could take that into consideration.

And that is sort of a very general kind of wording that allows anything, really, about the defendant's background that would cause mitigation.

And here the defense attorneys put together a presentation, which indicated that he may have been brain damaged; he may have been affected by drugs

that his mother took, that he may have had, even a brain at age 19, that wasn't fully formed.

All of these things relating to his background and his upbringing, that a juror, looking not to impose the death penalty, could rely on as a

mitigating circumstance.

And you have to remember -- and Jean raised a very good point -- there is a very, very complex verdict form here. And you have to find aggravating

factors in order to impose the death penalty. And you have to look at each of the 17 victims.

And as Jean said, if only one has those aggravating circumstances, you have to consider the death penalty. But if his background suggests that he

deserves a life sentence instead, that one thing cancels out the aggravation or can cancel it out with respect to the aggravating


The jury, in other words, has wide latitude in saying whether a mitigating circumstance, you know, overwhelms and is much greater than the aggravating

circumstances. It is really entirely up to them to make that decision.

And, of course, if they do decide to recommend death, the judge then ultimately must decide. And as Jean said, usually judges do impose the

death penalty in that situation.

GOLODRYGA: Carlos Suarez, any indication as to how the families feel about whether Cruz should be sentenced to death or life in prison?

Is that something that has come up?

Is there a unanimous view on this point, given that we have so many families involved in this atrocity?

SUAREZ: Many of the family members that have been in court this entire trial have been very clear about what they would like to see. They would

like to see Cruz put to death.

There are -- there was one family member, whose name escapes me right now, one of the siblings, who said that they were against the death penalty but

that -- they haven't been in court throughout this entire process. All of the family members that have been here, the jury -- the judge I believe is

coming back in.

GOLODRYGA: We're going to go to the courtroom right now as the judge is walked in. We're anticipating the jury as well. Let's take a moment to

listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, court is back in session. The lawyers are present. The defendant is present. It is my understanding that the jurors

have reached a verdict in this case.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are both sides ready to bring in the jurors?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Defense is ready.


GOLODRYGA: And Jean, as we are waiting for the jury to come in and announce their decision, you were just explaining to me there is a long

process here and paperwork that they're going to read through. But it really just takes one count.

CASAREZ: Right. And they're going to start with count one obviously and go through and they're going to read this jury form that we hear talking about

-- did you find aggravating factors and will go through the various aggravating factors.

On page four of count one, it finally gets to the point, are you recommending death?

Yes or no.

So that is what have to listen for right there because that first count, that possibly will show their state of mind.

GOLODRYGA: All right. Let's listen to the jury.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All jurors are present.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, the jurors are present. Everyone else may be seated.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my understanding that you have reached a verdict in this case.

And Mr. Thomas, you're the foreperson?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you please pass the verdict forms to the bailiff?

All of the verdict forms have been properly executed and dated and signed by the foreperson.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At this time, I'm going to publish the verdicts. The State of Florida versus Nikolas Cruz.

Verdict form as to count one: we, the jury, find as follows as to Nikolas Cruz in this case. Aggravating factors as to count one, victim Luke Hoyer:

we, the jury, unanimously find that the state has established beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of the aggravating factor, Nikolas Cruz was

previously convicted of another capital felony or felony involving the use or threat of violence to another person.


We, the jury, unanimously find that the state has established beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of the aggravating factor, Nikolas Cruz

created a created a great risk of death to many persons.


We, the jury, unanimously find that the state has established beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of the aggravating factor, the first degree

murder of Luke Hoyer was committed while Nikolas Cruz was engaged in the commission of a burglary.


We, the jury, unanimously find that the state has established beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of the aggravating factor, the first degree

murder of Luke Hoyer was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.


We, the jury, unanimously find that the state has established beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of the aggravating factor, the first degree

murder of Luke Hoyer was committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification.


Reviewing the aggravating factors that we unanimously found to be established beyond a reasonable doubt, we, the jury, unanimously find that

the aggravating factors are sufficient to warrant a possible death sentence.


One or more individual jurors find that one or more mitigating circumstances was established by the greater weight of the evidence.


We, the jury, unanimously find that the aggravating factors that were proven beyond a reasonable doubt outweigh the mitigating circumstances.


Signed October 13th, by the foreperson, Mr. Benjamin.

Verdict form as to count two, victim Martin Duque: we, the jury, unanimously find that the state has established beyond a reasonable doubt

the existence of the aggravating factor, Nikolas Cruz was previously convicted of another capital felony or felony involving the use or threat

of violence to another person.


We, the jury, unanimously find that the state has established beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of the aggravating factor, Nikolas Cruz

knowingly created a great risk of death to many persons.


We, the jury, unanimously find that the state has established beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of the aggravating factor, the first degree

murder of Martin Duque Anguiano was committed while Nikolas Cruz was engaged in the commission of a burglary.


We, the jury, unanimously find that the state has established beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of the aggravating factor, the first degree

murder of Martin Duque Anguiano was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.


We, the jury, unanimously find that the state has established beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of the aggravating factor, the first degree

murder of Martin Duque Anguiano was committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification.


Reviewing the aggravating factors that we unanimously found to be established beyond a reasonable doubt, we, the jury, unanimously find that

the aggravating factors are sufficient to warrant a possible sentence of death.


One or more individual jurors find that one or more mitigating circumstances was established by the greater weight of the evidence.


We, the jury, unanimously find that the aggravating factors that were proven beyond a reasonable doubt outweigh the mitigating circumstances

established as to count two, Martin Duque Anguiano.


Signed and dated by the foreperson, Mr. Benjamin Thomas.

Count three, Gina Montalto: we, the jury, unanimously find that the state has established beyond a reasonable doubt the -