PARKLAND, Florida – On Tuesday, the fifth anniversary of the Parkland school shooting, Gov. Ron DeSantis kept his promise to change the way Florida handles death sentences.
“Five years ago was one of the worst days this state has ever had,” the governor told reporters at a news conference in Jacksonville. “I wasn’t governor yet at the time, but I think it was something that not only affected every part of our state, but really the whole country.”
Before he talked about how the school shooter was given a life sentence last year, DeSantis talked about what the state has done to make schools safer since the shooting.
“I can tell you, if you look at what we’ve done since I’ve been governor: we’ve spent more than $1 billion to make schools safer, and we’ve worked hard to hold people accountable who could have done something to stop this guy from being in this position. Whether it was getting rid of the sheriff from the county or having a school security grand jury, which led to the removal of some school board members and the superintendent, you’ve seen what we’ve done.” So, I took it very seriously when the governor said, “You know, if there’s never any accountability, these kinds of things are more likely to happen again.”
DeSantis said that violent acts can sometimes come from people no one would expect them to come from, but he called Nikolas Cruz, the person who killed people at the Parkland school, a “ticking time bomb.”
He also didn’t like that Cruz got life in prison last year. He said that Florida didn’t always need a unanimous vote for the death penalty, and he’s working to change the law again.
“We’re going to change how the death penalty works in Florida,” he said. “You killed 17 people. What else can happen to you besides the death penalty?” But you have one person who doesn’t agree, so that can’t happen.”