On 5 year anniversary of Parkland shooting, DeSantis reaffirms vow to reform state’s capital sentencing procedure

DeSantis: ‘You kill 17 people – what other penalty can you get other than the ultimate penalty?’

PARKLAND, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis reaffirmed his vow to reform Florida’s capital sentencing procedure on Tuesday, the fifth anniversary of the Parkland school shooting.

“Five years ago was one of the worst days this state’s ever had, and I was not governor yet at the time, but it was something that I think not only reverberated in every corner of our state, but really across the country,” the governor told reporters at a news conference in Jacksonville.

Before addressing the life in prison sentence the school shooter received last year, DeSantis touted what the state has done to keep schools safer following the school shooting.

“I can tell you, if you’ve looked since I’ve been governor what we’ve done --  we’ve done over $1 billion to bolster school security, we’ve worked hard to bring accountability to folks who maybe could have done something to prevent this guy from being in this position --  whether it was removing the sheriff from the county, whether it was having the school security grand jury, which has led to the removal of some of the school board members, you’ve seen the superintendent replaced. And so, I took it very seriously to say, you know, if there is never accountability then these things are more likely to happen again,” the governor said.

DeSantis acknowledged that sometimes violent acts can happen from people nobody would expect it from, but called Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz a “ticking time bomb.”

He also criticized the life in prison sentence Cruz received last year, saying Florida didn’t always require a unanimous vote for the death penalty and he is working to make sure the law is changed once again.

“We’re going to reform the capital sentencing procedure in Florida,” he said. “You kill 17 people – what other penalty can you get other than the ultimate penalty? And yet, you have one holdout that can nullify that.”

About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.