Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Prosecutors to seek death penalty for Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz

The Broward County state attorney will seek the death penalty in its case against Nikolas Cruz who is charged with 17 counts of murder in the Parkland Fla. shooting. Cruz is seen here at a hearing Feb. 19 in Fort Lauderdale Prosecutors to seek death penalty for Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz
Melinda Barton | 14 March, 2018, 03:39

Prosecutors in Florida have announced that they will seek the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz, who is accused of spraying a Florida high school with gunfire last month, leaving 17 people dead.

The Broward State Attorney filed a notice of intent on Tuesday.

Cruz was formally charged on Wednesday with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the first degree and 17 counts of attempted murder in the first degree for his confessed massacre on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The decision to seek the death penalty against Nikolas Cruz, 19, was widely expected, in part because Mr. Satz had hinted at his plans days after the attack.

The action by prosecutors does not necessarily mean a plea deal will not be reached, the report said.

The only other penalty option for Cruz, if convicted, is life in prison with no possibility of parole. Those included the charges that Cruz "knowingly created a great risk of death" to many people, that the shooting was "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel", and it was committed in a "cold, calculated and premeditated manner".

Cruz now "stands mute" before the charges, having withdrawn a written "not guilty" plea after being indicted by the grand jury.

The shooting has reignited the debate over gun control in Florida and across the country.

Broward Health spokeswoman Jennifer Smith said Tuesday that Anthony Borges' condition has now been upgraded to fair. He asked commissioners at a public hearing Tuesday to act because the National Rifle Association has filed a lawsuit against the new law. "What they're saying is, that these weapons of mass destruction that do nothing but tear human beings apart in an unbelievable way, do not belong in civilian hands".