Florida’s jury rejected Thursday’s death penalty for the Parkland school shooter, who killed 17 victims on Valentine’s Day 2018, according to a report.
The shooter was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for each murder, which caused disappointment and frustration in the families of the victims who were present at the trial.
Dr. Ilan Alhadeff gave an emotional victim impact statement on August’s murder of his 14-year-old daughter Alyssa. His wife Lori said that they were “extremely disappointed” with the result of Thursday’s trial. The New York Times reports. “I don’t get it.”
Fred Guttenberg, who was 14 years old when he lost Jaime, said, “I don’t know how this jury reached the conclusions they did today. But 17 families didn’t receive justice.”
We won’t name the shooter. He pleaded guilty last year to 17 counts of murder. The youngest victim was only 14 years old, while the victims included three staff members and fourteen students.
Seven men and five women made up the jury that convicted the shooter. They had to agree to the death penalty. The shooter must be sentenced to life for his crimes.
Defense attorneys for the shooter argued that his mother had drunk during pregnancy, which caused fetal alcohol syndrome. This condition was not detected throughout his life.
After a three-month trial, deliberations began Wednesday. According to the Associated Press, the case was the most serious of its kind.
NBC Miami profiled the victims in February. Their names included: Alyssa Alhadeff, a 14-year-old Varsity soccer player; Scott Beigel, a 35-year-old cross-country coach; Martin Duque, a 14-year-old who had dreams of becoming a Navy Seal; Nicholas Dworet, a 17-year-old senior committed to the University of Indianapolis; Aaron Feis, a 37-year-old father and football coach; Peter Wang; a 15-year-old who helped his classmates escape the massacre and was posthumously admitted to West Point; Carmen Schentrup, a 16-year-old National Merit Scholar and president of an acapella group; Alex Schachter, a 14-year-old athlete and marching band member; Helena Ramsay; a 17-year-old who wanted to travel the world; Meadow Pollack, an 18-year-old senior committed to Lynn University; Alaina Petty, a 14-year-old ROTC cadet of the month; Joaquin Oliver, a 17-year-old Miami Heat fan; Gina Montalto, a 14-year-old Girl Scout and avid reader; Cara Loughran, a 14-year-old who taught education classes at her church; Jaime Guttenberg, a 14-year-old who loved helping children; Chris Hixon, a 49-year-old Navy Veteran and athletics director; Luke Hoyer, a 15-year-old basketball lover and scholarship winner.