Parkland Massacre Victims

Parkland school shooter Nicholas Cruz received 34 consecutive life sentences for the infamous Parkland School Massacre. This formal sentencing comes four years after the deadly valentine’s day murders and a lengthy sentencing trial.

By Nisie

For six gruesome months, families and friends testified to the loss of their loved ones by sharing with jurors the massive impact their loss had on their lives. Surviving victims went on stand to describe the horrible scene they witnessed first-hand, the details even bringing Cruz’s defense to tears. Jurors went as far as touring the freshman building, where Cruz murdered fifteen students and two teachers. More like a mausoleum now, the school building, left untouched since that day still had pools of dry blood on the floor and scattered valentine’s cards throughout the hallways.

The verdict comes as a significant upset to victims’ families and prosecutors who were seeking the death penalty. And like salt to a wound, the defense team has been accused of wildly inappropriate behavior. In one incident, a middle finger was thrown by one attorney, and the defense team was even seen laughing with each other. Judge Elizabeth A. Scherer clashed with the defense team throughout the trial, and in September, the defense requested the strict Judge’s removal from the case, but the request was denied. But the tension between Cruz’s defense team and Judge Scherer continued to grow. During victim impact statements, it all came to blows when a defense lawyer mentioned the Judge’s children, and he was promptly kicked out of the courtroom.

After the final victim impact statement was read by Joaquin Oliver’s father, Manuel Oliver, who flipped off the defense and warned Cruz of his impending demise, the proper sentence was handed down. Judge Scherer gave Cruz life in prison for his crime and ordered him to pay for damages to victims’ families and court fees. Then she ordered his commissary to be garnished until all the fees and damages were paid in full.

Since the Parkland Massacre, there have been hundreds of gunfire incidents at American schools. The Uvalde shooting most recently took the lives of 19 children under the age of 11 and two teachers. The outcry for gun control has been louder than ever but to no avail. Sadly, until the necessary changes are made to protect our students and teachers, lives will continue to be lost.

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