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Parkland Families Call For Violent Vengeance Against School Shooter Nikolas Cruz
In the second day of victim impact statements, families of students and teachers killed by Nikolas Cruz at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 continued to openly wish for him to meet a violent end.
More loved ones of the 17 people murdered by Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz got their chance after almost five years to verbally thrash him face to face Wednesday in the second day of a hearing that will end with Cruz formally sentenced to life without parole.
Linda Beigel Schulman, mother of teacher Scott Beigel, spoke of vengeance when she got her turn to confront Cruz.
“Real justice would be done if every family here were given a bullet and your AR-15 and we got to pick straws, and each one of us got to shoot one at a time at you, making sure that you felt every bit of it, and your fear continued to mount until the last family member who pulled that last straw had the privilege of making sure that they killed you," Beigel Schulman said. “That’s real justice for you.”
Cruz, shackled and wearing a red jail jumpsuit, stared at the speakers but showed little emotion, as he did the day before.
When Jennifer Guttenberg, mother of victim Jaime Guttenberg, got up to speak, she started by admonishing Cruz for hiding his face and expressions behind a blue COVID mask, prompting Cruz to remove the face covering.
Cruz was convicted of the Valentine's Day 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in suburban Fort Lauderdale. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer has no choice but to impose that sentence, as the jury in Cruz's penalty trial could not unanimously agree that he deserved the death penalty.
Cruz, a former Stoneman Douglas student and then 19, wore a school shirt so that he could blend in with fleeing students as he escaped. He was arrested an hour later.
It was the second day of testimony, in which members of the victims' families and some of the 17 wounded went to a lectern about 20 feet (6 meters) from Cruz. Many criticized a Florida law that requires jury unanimity for a death sentence to be imposed — Cruz's jurors voted 9-3 on Oct. 13 for his execution.
Beigel Schulman said she takes some comfort in knowing that Cruz is headed to a maximum-security prison where he will have to worry constantly about his safety for the rest of his life.
“From what I hear, child killers are highly frowned upon and hated in prison,” Beigel Schulman said to Cruz. “I welcome the day that I’m told that you’ve been tortured and taken out for your cold-blooded, premediated, calculated, heinous murders, because you deserve no less.”
David Alhadeff, the uncle of Alyssa Alhadeff, told Cruz via Zoom from his classroom in Maryland that he deserves “the opportunity to rot away.”
“You deserve the opportunity to absorb the look of terror on your face once you leave this courtroom," Alhadeff said. "You deserve the opportunity of knowing that justice will prevail at some point, causing you great anguish, minute by minute, day by day.”