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Prosecutors Will Seek Death Penalty for Accused Stoneman Douglas Shooter

Prosecutors Will Seek Death Penalty for Accused Stoneman Douglas Shooter

The Broward State Attorney's office has filed notice of intent to seek the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz, the accused perpetrator of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Cruz, 19, faces 17 counts of premeditated murder in the first-degree and 17 counts of attempted murder in the first degree in the incident that happened February 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Cruz's public defender has argued that he suffers from serious mental illness, noting that he will enter a guilty plea if prosecutors agree to not seek the death penalty.

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Those factors include Cruz's prior criminal record, the "heinous, atrocious and cruel" nature of the crime, and the "cold, calculated and premeditated" manner in which it was carried out.

"We still stand ready to immediately plead guilty to all counts - to 34 consecutive life sentences without parole", Finkelstein said.

In the most comparable situation, authorities prosecuted the gunman who in 2012 opened fire inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 and wounding dozens more.