Florida prosecutors intend to seek death penalty for Parkland school shooter

Cruz faces 34 charges after he opened fire on students and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Mr. Cruz is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder for the attack on February 14, when authorities say the former student opened fire with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle.

Broward County prosecutors made the announcement Tuesday in a court filing.

Satz's filing included multiple aggravating factors he said warranted a death sentence, including that Cruz knowingly created a risk of death to many people and that the killings were "a homicide. committed in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner".

Finkelstein said Tuesday that the prosecutor's announcement was not unexpected, but again repeated that his team was ready to have Cruz plead guilty on all counts in exchange for 34 consecutive life sentences without parole.

According to the AP, Cruz's lawyers have said that Cruz would plead guilty if prosecutors did not choose to pursue the death penalty, holding that Cruz suffers from serious mental illness.

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

"If we are not allowed to do so tomorrow, we will stand mute to the charges".

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.

"We are not saying he is not guilty but we can't plead guilty while death is still on the table", Finkelstein wrote.

Tony Montalto, whose daughter was one of the 17 killed at Stoneman Douglas, asked commissioners at a public hearing Tuesday to put the proposals before voters. After surgeries, his condition was upgraded to fair, his attorney and the hospital said.

On Wednesday, students across the nation intend to walk out of schools in solidarity with the Parkland students and to demand tougher gun control laws.

Vanessa Coleman

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