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The Florida judge presiding over the Parkland shooter's penalty trial was assigned at random

Judge Elizabeth Scherer is shown 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 May 2, 2022.
Amy Beth Bennett/AP
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Pool/South Florida Sun Sentinel
Judge Elizabeth Scherer is shown 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 on May 2, 2022. The judge was assigned the case despite never having overseen a major trial.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — The judge presiding over Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz's death penalty trial was assigned the case despite never having overseen a major trial.

Judge Elizabeth Scherer was assigned randomly by computer. That's the system used in Broward County and throughout much of Florida.

Her lack of experience will be scrutinized throughout the upcoming trial, which will determine if the 23-year-old Cruz is sentenced to death or life without parole.

He pleaded guilty in October to murdering 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Jury selection is underway, with opening statements scheduled for next month.