Nikolas Cruz Receives Sentence in Parkland Shooting Case
(ConservativeHub.com) – Nikolas Cruz, 19 at the time, walked into his former school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day in 2018 and opened fire. In the process, he murdered three educators and 14 students and injured many more. Over four years later, he finally faced trial for his atrocities. A jury convicted him of murdering 17 innocent people and injuring over a dozen more. Now, the judge has handed down his sentence.
Life in Prison for Nikolas Cruz
On Wednesday, November 2, Judge Elizabeth Scherer sentenced Cruz to life in prison 34 times, once for each person he killed years ago and once for each injured victim. The punishment fell short of many victims’ families’ and the prosecutor’s expectation of the death penalty. Yet, the Florida jury recommended life behind bars for the shooter last month, a year after the defendant pleaded guilty. According to Florida law, jurors had to agree unanimously to issue the death penalty. They didn’t.
Cruz’s defense argued against capital punishment, saying he struggled with mental health because his mother abused alcohol and drugs while pregnant.
Mass Shooters Rarely See a Jury Trial
Mass murderers who shoot their victims often take their own lives at the end of their massacres, or law enforcement kills them. So, it’s rare when one actually makes it to trial by jury. Cruz’s path to face justice became particularly unique, causing many people familiar with the case to call for the rarely-used death penalty.
According to the BBC, Linda Schulman, the mother of one victim, asked, “Why do we have the death penalty at all,” if not for instances like this? Other family members shared their loss of faith in the justice system based on the sentencing.
Will Florida Change the Rules for the Future?
During a recent gubernatorial debate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) said he wished the jury and judge had given Cruz the death penalty. He added, “There’s no other punishment that meets the gravity of the crime.” He told listeners he would speak to his state’s congress to see if they’re willing to change the law to allow a majority or supermajority of jurors to recommend a death sentence.
Now, a maximum security prison will hold Cruz for the rest of his days. While some may consider this justice, others are disappointed with the result of his trial.
What do you think, is a life sentence fair for Cruz, or do you think he deserves the death penalty?
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