What Did He Do? Who Is This Man?
The Parkland Shooter, that goes by the name of Nikolas Cruz, was finally able to testify before the court about a week ago. He killed a total of 17 people and wounded many more students and teachers. As he was testifying before the court, family members of the people that he killed came out and spoke their minds. Apparently, he was already dealing with major mental issues, as he witnessed both of his parents die at a young age. “He found his father dead at home of heart disease in 2004. His mother died of pneumonia in 2017, just a few months before the shooting.” All of these factors contributed to his worsening mental condition, as “It was the deadliest mass shooting to reach a jury trial in the US,” mentions BBC News.
What Did The Court Agree On? Are The Families In Favor?
Originally, there was a lot of talk that the Parkland Shooter, Cruz, should receive the death penalty for the act that he committed. A lot of people were sure that he would receive the death penalty. The day of the trial comes, and instead he gets a life sentence with no parole. Although, a life sentence without parole is also a decent sentence, many of the victims family members wanted him to receive the death penalty. Many family members did not agree with the sentence that he received. “It wasn’t even a doubt in my mind that this would be the death penalty. I’m beyond disgusted” mentions Lori Alhadeff. She later also mentioned, “I didn’t think I was able to feel more disappointment & heartbreak.” Lori Alhadeff is the mother of Alyssa Alhadeff, who was unfortunately killed in the attack. Lori was one of the many family members that were absolutely disgusted by the verdict.
Ivy Schamis is a teacher at Parkland High School, and was there when the shooting occurred. She had to witness the death of 2 of her students. “It means most of the parents will not outlive this shooter. I’ve lost all my faith in the justice system after this.” She was upset by this hearing because she believes that he deserved the death penalty.
What Exactly Was His Sentence?
Not only did Cruz receive one life sentence, “On Wednesday, Judge Elizabeth A. Scherer sentenced Mr. Cruz to 34 consecutive life terms in prison.” This sentence was on behalf of the students he murdered, and the 17 more that he tried to take away. Although this sentence can be a good one, as many are hopeful that he lives in constant consternation, not only in jail, but also because of what he did at Parkland High School.
Future Of This Case, and This Horrible Massacre
This was the worst case to ever develop in the US justice system. Many lives were taken, innocent lives, that cannot be brought back. Despite the parkland shooter having his mental issues, he could have sought help instead of taking the lives of 17 other innocent students, who had bright futures ahead of them. There is a hope that people who want to commit massacres like this one, understand the consequences of that in particular. Constant guilt, constant remorse, constant fear. Although the justice system may have handled this situation in a poor manner, the life sentences that he got were absolutely well deserved. This tragedy should not have happened in the first place. Hopefully, the justice system was able to understand the frustration, the grief and the anger that the victims families had when they appeared in the courtroom.
Written by David Loran Jr
BBC News: Parkland school shooting: Why the gunman was spared the death penalty
WUSF Public Media: ‘A gut punch’: Families of Parkland victims rage against shooter’s life sentence
The New York Times: Parkland Gunman Gets 34 Life Sentences
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Fabrice Florin’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Bob Dass’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons Licens