FORT LAUREL, Fla. — Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland school shooter, was sentenced to life without parole Wednesday. His 17 victims had spent two days calling him evil, cowardice, a monster, and a subhuman.
Cruz was shackled in a red jail jumpsuit as Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer pronounced 34 consecutive life sentences for Cruz’s February 14, 2018 massacre at Marjory stoneman Douglas High School, suburban Fort Lauderdale.
As she read the first sentence, the judge’s voice cracked. However, her voice grew stronger as she continued to read. Cruz spoke without emotion.
Scherer was forced to make a choice. The jury in Cruz’s three-month penalty trial voted 9-3 to sentence him to death on Oct. 13. However, Florida law requires that the sentence be imposed only if there is unanimity.
After two days of relatives, spouses, and parents of the victims, and some survivors, the sentencing took place.
Judge praised the families and injured who testified and called them patient, gracious, and strong.
Scherer stated, “I know that you will be OK because you have each other.”
As she read, some parents and family members wept. One father said, “Good riddance!” after Cruz was dismissed from courtroom.
Cruz, 24 years old, will be transported to the Florida prison system’s Processing Center near Miami within days before being assigned to a maximum security prison. Cruz’s family and wounded spent two days verbally beating Cruz, wishing him a painful death and regretting that he couldn’t be sentenced.
“Real justice would have been done if everyone here was given a bullet, your AR-15, and we got straws and each one got to shoot at you one at a while, making sure you felt every bit, and you continued to feel fear until the last person who pulled the last straw made sure you were killed,” Linda Beigel Schulman, mother to Scott Beigel, teacher who was shot to death. That’s true justice for you.
Beigel Schulman stated that she finds some comfort knowing Cruz will always be at risk for his safety.
Cruz was told by Beigel Schulman that child killers were highly hated and frowned upon in prison. “I’m glad to hear that you were tortured and taken out because of your cold-blooded premeditated, calculated murders. You deserve nothing less.
David Alhadeff was the uncle of Alyssa Alhadeff and told Cruz via Zoom, from his Maryland classroom, that he deserves to “rot away.”
Alhadeff stated, “You deserve to feel the terror in your eyes when you leave this courtroom.” “You deserve to know that justice will prevail at one point, causing great pain, minute by minute, every day.”