Families of those killed in the 2018 Parkland school massacre are backing a new Florida bill that would no longer require jury unanimity to trigger a death sentence.
Killer Nikolas Cruz was spared execution at his Florida sentencing trial last year after a lone juror opted against the death penalty in favor of a life term.
In one of the worst mass shootings in American history, Cruz gunned down 17 defenseless victims at Parkland High School, even doubling back down hallways to finish off some of the wounded.
The jury verdict sparked outrage among both victims’ families and Florida officials — including Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Currently, a jury must be unanimous in order to hand down the death penalty.
“One juror should not be able to veto that,” DeSantis said last week. “I don’t think justice was served.”
New legislation introduced this week would lower that standard.
“It is unconscionable that ‘protest jurors’ can deny justice to the families of victims of heinous crimes in our current system of unanimity,” said a sponsor of the law, state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, according to Florida Politics. “This is much-needed reform to ensure that evil scumbags like Nikolas Cruz do not escape with just a life sentence.”
Max Schachter, whose son, Alex Schachter, was killed in the incident, backed the effort in a tweet.
“[Thank you] for putting forth legislation so that juries no longer need unanimity to recommend the death penalty in Florida,” he wrote. “No one else should experience the injustice inflicted upon the 17 Parkland families after he received LIP.”
Kyle Petty, father of victim Alaina Petty, told Florida’s Voice that he also supported the legislation.
“I support it 100 percent. I mean, no single juror should be able to hijack our justice system,” Petty told the outlet.
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