The parents of 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff, one of 17 people killed in the Parkland massacre, said they were “disgusted” by the jury’s decision to recommend life in prison rather than the death penalty for the gunman.
Lori and Ilan Alhadeff spoke to reporters shortly after the recommendation was read out in court.
Ilan said his family was “very disappointed with the outcome”, adding that “it should have been the death penalty – 100%”.
“I am disgusted with our legal system,” the visibly angry father said outside court. “I am disgusted with those jurors.”
Both parents have questioned the purpose of the death penalty in Florida’s legal system, if not for mass school shootings.
“What’s the use of the death penalty?” Lori asked.
She also called for law enforcement to do more to prevent school shootings and take more aggressive action to stop them.
“Law enforcement needs to do their job,” the mother said. “As a police officer, your job is to step in, engage and remove threats. If you can’t do it, don’t do the job.”
Alhadeffs said they will continue to work through their nonprofit organization Make Schools Safe to advocate for stricter school safety policies.
Elan thanked the state for the indictment of the Parkland shooter, while condemning the outcome of the trial.
“The system continues to let us down,” he said.
About Alyssa Alhadeff: Alyssa, 14, is a student at Stoneman Douglas and a football player for the Parkland Travel Soccer.
“Alyssa Alhadeff is a much loved and respected member of our club and community,” Parkland Travel Soccer said on Facebook. “Alyssa will be sorely missed.”
Lori told HLN that she dropped her daughter to school on the day of the shooting and said, “I love you.” When the mother learned of the attack, she rushed to the school, but it was too late.
“I knew then that she was gone. I felt it in my heart,” she said.
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