Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland school shooter, was officially given a life sentence without the possibility of parole on Wednesday after spending two days being vilified by the families of his 17 murdered victims.
Cruz, who was cuffed and wearing a red jail jumpsuit, watched Judge Elizabeth Scherer’s decision without expressing any emotion.
Cruz was given 17 consecutive life sentences for the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, and an additional 17 terms for the attempted murders of the victims he injured.
Cruz’s three-month penalty trial jury unanimously decided to sentence him to death on October 13 by a vote of 9-3, but according to Florida law, this cannot happen.
As a result, Scherer was left with no other option.
Cruz admitted to the judge during interrogation before sentencing that he takes medication but can grasp what is going on.
Parents, wives, brothers, and other relatives of the deceased and some of the injured survivors walked 20 feet to a podium to address the judge before the sentencing.
The judge praised the families and injured witnesses, describing them as strong, elegant, and patient.
Scherer remarked, “I know you are going to be OK because you have each other.
The judge’s voice faltered as she began to read the first of the 34 life sentences, but as she continued, her voice grew louder and more forceful.
As she read, some parents and other family members started to cry.
Cruz was verbally abused by families and the injured for two days, who wished him a torturous death in jail and lamented that he could not be put to death.