Is Parkland Accused Murderer, Nikolas Cruz, Deserving of a Fair Trial?

May 12th, 2018 | Breaking News, Press Releases

 

Attorney Ostrow stated, “from the onset, Broward’s public defender office, has consistently, thrown their client under the bus in public comments made by Howard Finkelstein, essentially condemning his own client, reflecting a clear conflict of interest and an unfitness to effectively represent Cruz’s best interests. Despite this issue being addressed in various motions filed with the court, based on a host of supporting facts, the court has rejected any such arguments to date, citing a lack of standing, as opposed to the merits of the argument.”

He stood mute at the arraignment while the Court entered a Not Guilty Plea on his behalf. Nikolas Cruz appeared with his head down, the result of reportedly being heavily drugged. Cruz had been a patient of Henderson Behavioral Health, a contracted mental health vendor of Broward County that received $8.9 million in federal grants two distributions, one in October 2012 and the other in December of 2016.

Nikolas Cruz, a product of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCF), was labeled with a string of alleged mental disorders, including depression, ADHD, emotional behavioral disability and autism and was, apparently “treated.”

It has been reported that he had been medicated throughout his young life, but how much or which psychiatric, mind-altering drugs appears to be the only selective mental health records that were not leaked by the Mayor of Broward County, Beam Furr.

Given the complete subjectivity associated with psychiatric diagnosing, it is of little surprise that the mental health wizards of Henderson Behavioral Health reported to DCF that Cruz was not a risk to harm himself or others.

A grand jury formally indicted Cruz on 34 counts, including and 17 counts of premeditated first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder in the injuries to 17 others – charges that make Cruz a prime candidate for the death penalty.

Long-time Broward County attorney, Howard Finkelstein heads up the Public Defender’s Office charged with handling his defense. In February of 2018, Finkelstein’s suspect remarks about his client were featured in the New York Times article Feb. 24, 2018, After a School Shooting, a Question of One More Death: The Gunman.  It raised serious questions about Cruz’s ability to get appropriate representation and a fair trial: It reads:

“If it were my daughter, I would want to personally kill my client, make no mistake about it.”


Guilty or innocent, there is a time and a place for everything and, certainly, Finkelstein is entitled to his own opinion. But when it appears that the Chief of the Public Defender’s Office is throwing you under the bus in the New York Times, and your life is on the line, maybe it is time to seek a more sympathetic attorney.  Unfortunately, Cruz has been denied this ability. The accused, Cruz, is incarcerated in Broward County Jail and, apparently, heavily drugged and on suicide watch.

In this regard, attempts made by a local criminal defense attorney, Gary Ostrow, to assist Cruz have been blocked by the Public Defender’s office.

(Gary Ostrow has almost exclusively practiced criminal law for over 30 years and tried hundreds of cases from South Florida to New York and Los Angeles and has many published blog articles relating to his trial experiences as well his relentless advocacy for those who cannot speak for themselves and the oppressed.)

Maybe people are no longer innocent until proven guilty. Additionally, it appears that Gordon Weeks, Chief Assistant to the Public Defender, is more concerned with sparing the community of having to relive the shooting, rather than providing a thorough a defense.

Perhaps a trial would actually help the community to discover material facts as to what caused the young man to carry out such a heinous act. The information gleaned from a trial may not only prevent another school shooting, but could also help stop the mental health vendors from drugging children with mind-altering drugs and rubber stamping them as “treated.”

Facts have a way of coming out during a trial. Cruz needs a fair shake and let the chips fall where they may. But, in order to do so, the drugging of the accused must stop. He deserves responsible legal representation and the opportunity to enter his own plea.

Short of providing new council, it appears that we are going down the same path, with too many unnecessary deaths and another child involved in the mental health system that provides “cradle to grave” drugging.

 

Too Many Unanswered Questions in Broward County Shooting & Medication Involvement

February 27th, 2018 | Breaking News

February 14th proved to be anything but a loving Valentine’s Day in Broward County Florida this year when one 19 year old young man walked into his former high school and opened fire leaving 17 dead. Less than two weeks later, many are still searching for answers and learning more and more about this troubled young man and the over abundant signs given to both the Department of Children & Family Services and its vendor, Henderson Behavioral Health, the Out Patient Mental Health Center where Cruz was receiving treatment.

Henderson Behavioral Health is South Florida’s oldest and largest mental health provider. Its website totes that “Prevention Works, Treatment is Effective and People Recover” next to images of smiling families. In October 2012, Henderson took a 1.6 million dollar grant from the Center for Mental Health Services of the Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In December 2016 Broward County itself received a $22 million dollar federal mental health grant from the NIMH of which $7.3 million went to Henderson Behavioral Health.

The Broward County Commissioners met on February 27th to discuss the recent school shooting. After this meeting, the Sun Sentinel reported that Broward County plans its own investigation into the shooting. According to the Commissioner, Mark Bogen, “We are the only body right now that has no conflict of interest”. No conflict of interest? Is Mr. Bogen aware that his county took the $22 million dollar grant and gave Henderson Behavioral Health where Cruz was treated, 7.3 million dollars?

One would hope that any investigation of this matter is handled by an outside party not affiliated with Broward County in any way to ensure the integrity of the investigative process.

According to the Department of Children and Family Services in a press release February 19, 2018, they readily admit Cruz was receiving mental health services and taking medication. Where it gets murky is when DCF’s Secretary, Mike Carroll claims that the agency only had one involvement with Cruz contradicting a report from the Sun Sentinel titled School Shooter Nikolas Cruz: An Unending Saga of Disturbed Behavior and Red Flags. The Sentinel reports that records from DCF show Cruz had been diagnosed with a string of disorders and conditions to include: Depression, ADHD, Emotional Behavioral Disability, and Autism.

We know Cruz was on medication but don’t know just how many or which ones. It has been reported that he had hallucinations, was suicidal at one point, and stated that he had demons in his head that made him do the shooting, all sounding a lot like side effects that the FDA often warns about with psychiatric drugs prescribed for the multiple labels he was diagnosed with.

After all there have been 22 drug regulatory agency warnings from 5 countries and the European Union, on psychiatric drugs causing violence, hostility, aggression, psychosis, mania, and homicidal ideation. At least 36 school shooters were on one or more psychiatric drugs linked to violence. There are now many reports of these fatal acts of violence that can no longer go unnoticed.  The media or a politician’s claim that the person “went off his meds” or “was not being treated” is not a fact.  This type of message to the public implies it is only then that these types of side effects occur.  According to the MedWatch reporting system this propaganda simply isn’t true and is dangerous to the consumer and to public safety.

AbleChild has discovered that the Mayor of Broward County, Beam Furr, has access to Nikolas Cruz’s mental health records and appears to be selectively releasing portions of them. AbleChild has reached out to Mayor Furr concerning this selective release and to stress the importance of knowing what medications Cruz was on.  The public has been put at risk with these kinds of violent acts, making it a public health crisis. Citizens should have the right to know the exact medications Cruz was taking, the names, dosage amounts, history of bloodwork, and if a MedWatch form was ever filed to report any side effects to the FDA.  After all these drugs are marketed to the public and known side effects puts the public at risk.

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