[Content Note: Today’s post talks about a senseless, tragic event at a school in Parkland, FL, to be specific, the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and the Parkland shooter trial. I won’t mention details about what happened, or where to find any of it, but if you’re not in the headspace to hear about this, definitely give this post a miss. If you decide to move forward with this post, and it brings up some difficult feelings for you, I encourage you to reach out to the Crisis Text Line.]
Think back to February 14th, 2018. What were you doing that day? Where were you at? For me, personally, I was caring for my late mom, and a hair over a year into an underpaying job I had at the time. It was a far different story for a group of kids from 14-18 years old at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
Just the night before, their biggest worries in life were math tests, school dances, Snapchat, what college to pick, college visits, SATs, ACTs, midterms, band practice, soccer practice, after school jobs, volunteer work, ROTC events, what’s happening on TV, Instagram, and who’s going out w/ who. At least that was how it shoulda been.
The next day, the students of Stoneman Douglas High School left their homes and their families. It was Valentine’s Day, and many students there exchanged homemade or store-bought cards, and flowers. Toward the end of the day, their lives would change in minutes.
The shooter, who will remain nameless cuz he’s only a human being in the literal sense. Otherwise, he’s an evil bastard who fuckin killed KIDS. Kids who didn’t know him from Adam, and he didn’t know from Adam or Eve.
According to the documentary released just after the shooting, Parkland: Inside Building 12, the shooter took an Uber to the school, dressed in the style of an ROTC member. The movie shows the movements of both the shooter and the victims, represented by color-coded dots, showing what happened to who, and in which order.
While the documentary, which can be found on Freevee, has the CliffsNotes version of events, it was made months after what happened, so it was still super recent. There’s been so much more information that came out in the years that followed.
The trial for the shooter started in July 2022. I’ve been following it from the beginning, listening to the livestreams on YouTube, and watching a bunch of horny geek simps in the live chats there try to come up w/ ways to get into Judge Scherer’s courtroom. I’m dead serious. No matter what the mods did, these horny geeks would always find ways to get under their radar and go on and on about how hot she is.
If any of y’all ever did jury duty, like I did twice, you’ll remember you’re told not to talk about the case or write about it. Even though I watched it on the livestreams, I pretended to myself I was on the jury too, and followed the rules w/ them.
Yeah, I love jury duty. I’m weird like that. Sue me.
But back to the trial. I watched as the ME testified about what happened to victims Aaron Feis and Joaquin Oliver. We livestream viewers didn’t get to see the pics, but the descriptions from the ME were more than enough for me anyways. However, the jury and the victims’ families who were there did, and my heart goes out to them.
At one point, we got to meet Veteran Christopher Hixon’s son Corey, an adorable guy who looks just like his dad. Corey is disabled w/ high support needs, and he talked about how he and his dad would take trips to Dunkin’ Donuts on Saturdays, and it was something he looked forward to. Corey was so heartbroken at the loss of his dad and those Saturday Dunkin’ Donuts trips, and it’ll stay w/ me forever.
I’m so sorry, Corey. I’m so sorry for your loss and for what happened, and I wish I could take the pain away from you.
After the State made their case, the defense came back w/ an endless laundry list of specialists, neighbors, friends of friends, friends of neighbors, and others. One thing’s for sure, they definitely found ppl to testify in defense of the shooter who basically didn’t know him from Adam, only knew the name and dealt w/ him a time or two forever ago.
The ones who testified in that case helped the defense team paint a picture of a helpless child who was born to an addicted mother who subjected him to substance exposure before he was born and how it totally ruined him mentally. They went on to describe how he got so much help and resources, and still slipped through the cracks. There was a former teacher who told us about how he disrupted class time and basically went postal on other kids.
It looked to me like the defense team’s goal was to drag this out for as long as humanly possible, and get everyone to feel sorry for the shooter.
At one point I did, but then I remembered why we’re here. Apparently someone on the jury bought into it, since the death penalty was on the table, and the jury ended up deadlocking during the deliberations.
Life in prison clearly wasn’t the outcome the victims’ families were hoping for, or what many of us among the general public were hoping for either. I was among that group. The victim impact statements reflected this, and when it was Max Schachter’s turn to have his say, he said that the shooter had more help, resources, and support than a lot of ppl get.
Hell, this jackasshole got more help in one YEAR than I ever got in my whole life.
The problem was none of it worked. The defense trotted out records dating back to when the shooter was 3 years old, and I’d have thought even that wasn’t soon enough.
Until I remember one doctor talking about how the shooter’s assessments were so off the charts they said they never saw anyone who was that disabled and debilitated in their whole lives, which led the doctor to believe the shooter was faking it.
Max was right, none of the mountains and barrels of help and resources the shooter sucked up, up until 2018, worked. If the shooter was legit that bad off, the shooter would probably be in a group home or an inpatient facility somewhere. Despite his adoptive family’s best efforts, the shooter didn’t stand a chance in hell of ever turning out decent, from the looks of things.
The shooter’s adoptive family tried. They spent the better part of 20 years flinging bologna at the wall trying to get him help and resources, and none of it stuck.
Max even mentioned that trying to make this about the shooter’s apparent mental illnesses and disability is an insult to those who legit have mental illnesses and/or disabilities.
It’s a major insult, to say the least. It makes those of us who are disabled and struggle w/ mental health look bad, and gives others even less of an incentive to help us or listen to us. My biggest fear is that someone out there’s gonna come across the livestream footage, hear the defense team try to spin this as a mental health and disability issue, take it, believe everyone who struggles w/ mental health and disabilities are like this, and run w/ it.
I hope like hell that doesn’t happen.
It’s often said that every dog deserves its day in court, and as such, every dog deserves to be represented in court. The defense team assigned to the case basically had to defend the indefensible, but they behaved so horribly, and at one point, one of the defense team members flipped the bird. Another one accused the victims’ families of “inciting violence” and brought up Judge Scherer’s kids, totally outta nowhere, and whined about everything they had to go through or whatever.
This defense team oughta be super ashamed of themselves. The Florida Bar is investigating the one who flipped the bird, and I’m betting dollars to donuts they’ll be disbarred. Even though I hate this idea, and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, I seriously hope that happens. Watching them pal around w/ the shooter during the trial was bad enough, but this is next-level shiz, right there.
If that’s how they’re gonna act, then they don’t need to be lawyers, imo.
There wasn’t a single shred of remorse from the shooter, or from the defense team who acted so horribly and made a mockery of everything the justice system stands for. They also made a mockery of the victims and survivors, and the grieving families. The shooter didn’t give even a fraction of a rat’s ass about what he did.
But back to the sentence. Instead of the death penalty, the jury saw fit to recommend life w/o parole, thanks to changes in the law in 2016. Judge Scherer issued multiple life sentences to run consecutively, one for each of the survivors and the victims. Judge Scherer also issued an order of restitution for court costs, a ban on any attempts at profiting off his heinous actions, and Broward County’s full permission to garnish whatever commissary funds he may get.
He’s super donezo. Fuck this fuckin barf-breath trashbag, and the horse he rode in on, now and forever.
Let’s remember the victims and their families instead, in no specific order.
Alyssa Miriam Ahladeff
Alexander Logan Schachter
Helena Freja Ramsay
Joaquin “Guac” Oliver
Alaina Joann Petty
Cara Marie Loughran
Christopher Brent Hixon
Nicholas Paul Dworet
Luke Thomas Hoyer
Gina Rose Montalto
Aaron Louis Feis
Carmen Marie Schentrup
Meadow Jade Pollack
Jaime Taylor Guttenberg
Martin Duque Anguiano
Over to you, readers. Did you watch the livestream of the Parkland shooter trial? I missed some days, but I brought myself up to speed w/ the news reports instead. Anyhow, I’d love to hear your thoughts and takeaways, so drop it all like it’s hot below, and let’s talk. More importantly, let’s talk about ways we can honor the memories of the 17 lives taken away from us way too soon. They’re the ones who matter in all this, so do the survivors, and so do their families.
To the victims, the survivors, and the family members, I’m holding space for you.