Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz

Sergio Conner
March 14, 2018

Prosecutors have called for Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz to face the death penalty.

The shooting has sparked a fierce national debate over gun rights, with numerous student survivors vowing to push for gun control regulations so that the shooting they lived through might be the last.

In a notice filed Tuesday in circuit court, Michael J. Satz, the Broward state attorney, said the state meant to seek the death penalty for Cruz and would prove that the crime "was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel".

Tuesday's news comes one day before the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

Florida prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old man accused of killing 17 people at a Florida high school last month, according to a notice of intent filed by Broward State Attorney Michael Satz. After surgeries, his condition was upgraded to fair, his attorney and the hospital said.

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The charges against Cruz - 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder - are to be read out in court on Wednesday. A plea deal is still possible despite Tuesday's court filing.

"We still stand ready to immediately plead guilty to 34 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole", Howard Finkelstein, a county public defender, said.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student is credited with saving the lives of 20 students by attempting to close and lock a classroom door during the February 14 attack where 17 people were killed in Parkland.

The commission, which is expected to take a final vote on its proposals over the next few weeks, will consider raising the age of weapon purchases to 21, banning bump stocks, a ban on types of semi-automatic rifles, and extending the waiting period for gun purchases.

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