DeSantis ‘Very Disappointed’ With Parkland Shooter’s Life Sentence

October 14, 2022 Topic: Parkland Shooting Region: Americas Blog Brand: Politics Tags: Ron DeSantisFlordiaGun ViolenceParkland Shooting

DeSantis ‘Very Disappointed’ With Parkland Shooter’s Life Sentence

The decision also left many families of the victims angry and in tears.  

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday said that Nikolas Cruz, who was sentenced to life without parole for the 2018 killing of seventeen people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, should have received the death penalty, Fox News reported.

“I think that if you have a death penalty at all, that that is a case, where you’re massacring those students, with premeditation and utter disregard for humanity, that you deserve the death penalty,” the Republican governor, seen as a potential presidential candidate in 2024, said during a press conference minutes after the jury delivered its recommendation to spare Cruz’s life.

“I just don’t think anything else is appropriate except a capital sentence in this case. And so, I was very disappointed to see that,” he continued. “This stings. It was not what we were hoping for … if that would’ve gone the correct way, I would’ve done everything in my power to expedite that process forward. Nevertheless, we are where we are today. But it is disappointing nonetheless.”

The jury’s decision came after seven hours of deliberations spread out over two days, concluding a highly emotional three-month trial. In the end, the jury found that the aggravating factors presented by the prosecutors did not outweigh the mitigating circumstances—or aspects of Cruz’s life and upbringing defense attorneys had argued warranted only a life sentence.

Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer, who cannot depart from the jury’s recommendation of life in prison without parole, is expected to issue Cruz’s formal sentence on November 1.

The decision left many families of the victims angry and in tears. CNN reported that Tony Montalto, father of one of the victims, called the decision “yet another gut punch for so many of us who devastatingly lost our loved ones on that tragic Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.”

“Seventeen beautiful lives were cut short, by murder, and the monster that killed them gets to live to see another day,” he continued in a statement. “While this sentence fails to punish the perpetrator to the fullest extent of the law—it will not stop our mission to effect positive change at a federal, state and local level to prevent school shooting tragedies from shattering other American families.”

Ilan Alhadeff, who lost his daughter in the shooting, said that his family was “beyond disappointed with the outcome.”

“I’m disgusted with our legal system,” he said outside the court. “I’m disgusted with those jurors.”

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Image: Reuters