On Wednesday, the shooter who opened fire in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day 2018, was formally sentenced to life in prison without the chance of release after a Florida jury unanimously rejected the death penalty.
The perpetrator of last year’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in which he killed 14 students (as young as 14) and three teachers, will remain anonymous in The Daily Wire’s reporting.
An AP article states that Judge Elizabeth Scherer sentenced the shooter to 17 consecutive life terms.
Seven men and five women on the jury chose 9 to 3 on October 13 to sentence the killer to death, leaving Judge Scherer with little choice but to hand down the penalty. The state of Florida requires a unanimous decision from jurors before a death sentence can be handed down.
Three jurors have indicated a desire for a life sentence, according to the foreman of the 12-person panel that decided the fate of the Parkland High School gunman.
The panel’s foreman, Benjamin Thomas, told CBS Miami that one juror had voted against the death penalty because she believed the gunman suffered from mental illness. Two extra jurors may have agreed with her because of her beliefs.
Thomas was disappointed when the other jurors decided to sentence the gunman to life in prison without the possibility of release, but he respected their verdict. One of them had a resounding “no;” she just couldn’t do it, Thomas added.
During the reading of the first of the 34 life sentences, the judge reportedly lost her composure, as reported by The Associated Press. Her family and friends were crying through the entire phrase, but she managed to find her voice again.
Judge Scherer commended the witnesses’ families and the injured for their bravery, composure, and patience.
They were comforted by Scherer’s words, “I know you’re going to be OK because you have each other.”
Before Scherer’s Wednesday sentencing, he addressed the families, saying, “I want to thank the family members for the honor of learning about each and every one of their loved ones.” Trust me when I say that “they will not be forgotten.”
The defense team for the alleged murderer claimed that their client suffered from undetected fetal alcohol syndrome because of his mother’s drinking habits.
The family of Alyssa Alhadeff, who was 14 when she was murdered four years ago, is “beyond angry with the decision,” as described by Lori Alhadeff, Alyssa’s mother.
According to The Associated Press, a close friend of Alhadeff’s said that he thought the death penalty should have been used. The youngster I sent to school was shot eight times after I left her there. I don’t think you understand me, but there’s something here. That makes no sense to me at all.
Axios reports that Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, is unhappy with the verdict of life in prison rather than the death penalty reached by the 12-person jury.
DeSantis said last month that someone “deserves the death sentence” for “massacring those students, with premeditation, in blatant disrespect for fundamental decency” if the death penalty is in place.