Sheriff's officials say there's nothing they can do after outrage greeted the disclosure that Nikolas Cruz, who confessed to killing 17 people at a Florida high school, was allowed to register to vote from his jail cell over the summer.
Cruz, 20, who is charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the assault on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Valentine's Day, registered as a Republican on July 25, listing the address of the Broward County Jail as his residence, according to state voter registration records.
Cruz's registration came to light on Saturday, when Andrew Pollack, the father of Meadow Pollack, one of the 14 pupils who were killed on Feb. 14, tweeted his anger.
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Referring to Cruz by his court case number, Pollack wrote: "I'm sick to my stomach. 18-1958 murdered 17 students & staff, including my daughter Meadow. Yet in July, Broward Sheriff @ScottJIsrael let people into the jail to get him & other animals registered to vote. The Despicable Democrats have no shame. Can't let them steal this election."
Israel was re-elected sheriff in 2016 as a Democrat.
Florida law allows criminal defendants to vote as long as they haven't been convicted. While Cruz has confessed to the killings, he is still awaiting trial.
"Taking away the voting rights of an eligible person awaiting trial is illegal," said Veda Coleman-Wright, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, according to NBC affiliate WFLA of Tampa. "BSO serves as a mail courier between the inmates and the Supervisor of Elections office."