‘What is The Death Penalty For?’: Parents of Parkland Victim Decry Ruling That Spared School Shooter
The parents of a victim of the 2018 mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school slammed the Thursday jury recommendation to spare the shooter.
“We came here today, and it wasn’t even a doubt in my mind that this would be the death penalty,” Lori Alhadeff, the mother of Alyssa Alhadeff, said after the jury recommended that the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, spend life in prison. “I’m beyond disgusted of what happened, what occurred. And again, what is the death penalty for if not for the murder and killing of 17 people?”
The Feb. 14, 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 14 students and three teachers dead. The jury was unable to reach an unanimous finding in favor of the death penalty, Fox News reported.
Alyssa’s father, Ilan Marc Alhadeff, also condemned the ruling, saying the jury’s recommendation “set a precedent.”
“I’m disgusted with our legal system. I’m disgusted with those jurors. I’m disgusted with the system,” Alhadeff said. “That you can allow 17 dead and 17 others shot and wounded and not get the death penalty. What do we have the death penalty for? What is the purpose of it? You set a precedent today. You set a precedent for the next mass killing. And nothing happens to you. You’ll get life in jail. I’m sorry, that is not OK. As a country we need to stand up and say that’s not OK. I pray that that animal suffers every day of his life in jail. And he should have a short life.”
Cruz pleaded guilty in October 2021.
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