The Parkland Trial


The amount of school shootings per year have been rising dramatically since 2018. There have been around one hundred thirty-three shootings in just the last four years. There have been 40 school shootings this year that have resulted in injuries or even deaths. Prior to this year, last year had the highest amount of shootings at thirty five in just one school year. One shooting that most people have heard about is the Parkland shooting that happened in Florida on February 14th, 2018. It was one of the deadliest shootings in the United States.

The shooter was a nineteen year old boy named Nikolas Cruz. Before the shooting Nikolas had been reported for his weird behavior. He had killed and tortured animals, had many guns in his possesion, and he made many threats to shoot the school. There was even a video shown of him before the shooting where he made threats, and was saying what he was planning on doing. On February fourteenth, when he came to the school, he killed seventeen people, and injured many more. The names of the victims were Alyssa Alhadeff, Scott Beigel, Martin Duque Anguiano, Nicholas Dworet, Aaron Feis, Jaime Guttenberg, Chris Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay, Alex Schachter, Carmen Schentrup, Peter Wang. Not only were they just students, but the football coach, an athletic director, and a teacher were also shot trying to protect their students. 

Nikolas’s trial for this shooting has been going on for almost five years. Last year cruz pleaded guilty to seventeen counts of first-degree murder and seventeen counts of attempted first-degree murder. Three months ago is when the trials started debating what punishment he deserves to get. The jury and the judges had been going back and forth on trying to unanimously make a decision. Parents of the victims have gone to these trials to make sure that their kids are getting justice for what happened to them. Most of the parents there want Nikolas to get the death penalty because that’s what they think he deserves. In an article published by ABC news, they said, Cruz’s lead public defender, Melisa McNeill, told the jury that life in prison would still be a horrible punishment, and suggested that other prisoners might target him.

In a Florida courtroom on Wednesday, Nikolas Cruz, was formally sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for each of 17 charges of first-degree murder. He also received a life sentence for each count of attempted first-degree murder, one for each of the 17 he wounded. The parents of the victims were allowed to go into the hearing and speak directly to Nikolas.  One parent who lost her fourteen year old daughter said, “I hope you are miserable for the rest of your pathetic life. My hope for you is that the pain of what you did to my family burns and traumatizes you every day.”  Overall the whole situation was very upsetting, but the families are very happy with the outcome of the trial.