Nikolas Cruz, the teenage gunman who shot 17 people to death at a Florida high school last month, will face the death penalty, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
State attorney Michael Satz notified a Broward County court that prosecutors intend to seek capital punishment for the 19-year-old killer, who stormed into the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and methodically gunned down his former classmates and teachers on Feb. 14.
Cruz’s public defender has argued that he suffers from serious mental illness, pledging that he will enter a guilty plea if prosecutors agree to not seek the death penalty.
The only other option on the table for Cruz is life in prison without the possibility of parole. The public defender, Howard Finkelstein, did not immediately comment on Satz’s announcement.
Satz’s filing states that prosecutors will consider expert testimony on Cruz’s mental health as long as it is presented at least 20 days before trial.
Due to Florida’s lax gun laws, Cruz was able to legally purchase the AR-15 assault rifle that he used to carry out his senseless attack.
The horrific Valentine’s Day massacre has prompted renewed calls for beefed-up gun control across the country.
Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who has previously been well liked by the National Rifle Association, outraged the powerful gun lobby when he signed a historic bill into law on Friday that raises the legal sales age for firearms from 18 to 21. Gun control advocates have pointed out that Cruz would not have been able to obtain his military-grade assault rifle if the law had already been in place.
With News Wire Services
Source link : http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/prosecutors-seek-death-penalty-school-shooter-nikolas-cruz-article-1.3872193
Publish date : 2018-03-13 17:55:34