The grieving families members of the 17 students and teachers who were slain during a 2018 high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, were given an opportunity to confront killer Nikolas Cruz, many doing so tearfully, with angry words for the young man during the hearing, which kicked off on Tuesday.
“At the conclusion of the hearing on Wednesday, Broward County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer is due to sentence Cruz, 24, to life in prison without possibility of parole, a sentence decided by a jury. The jury voted to spare Cruz from the death penalty for one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, a decision several survivors’ relatives decried in court as injustice,” Newsmax reported.
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“You are pure evil,” Anne Ramsay, the mother of 17-year-old Helena Ramsay, told Cruz, who pleaded guilty last year to premeditated murder. He listened to the victim impact statements at a table in the courtroom, wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, large spectacles and a COVID-19 mask.
Inez Hixon called Cruz a “domestic terrorist” for killing her father-in-law, school athletics director Chris Hixon, two other staff members and 14 students with a semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, about 30 miles north of the courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.
“I wish no peace for you,” Inez Hixon said in emotional testimony. “I wish nothing but pain. And I hope that every breath you take you remember that’s a breath that you stole.”
At the time of the shooting, Cruz was only 19 and had been expelled from the school. Some of the individuals who survived the shooting went on to put together a youth-led movement in support of strict gun control measures, which we all know don’t actually work to prevent these incidents, as bad guys do not obey the law. That’s why they are bad guys.
Many of the family members who sat through the grueling three month long penalty trial stated they were very unhappy with the jury’s decision to give Cruz a life sentence without the possibility of parole rather than the death penalty. Law in the state of Florida requires that Scherer follow the jury’s recommendation during the formal sentencing of the killer.
Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter Jaime in the shooting, posted on Twitter that he will not be speaking at the hearing.
“Because I have decided that it simply won’t change reality or the way I feel,” he tweeted. “The reality is that I will still visit Jaime at the cemetery and the monster’s fate will not change. It has already been decided.”
This story syndicated with permission from Chad Prather
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