Prosecutors Will Seek Death Penalty for Accused Stoneman Douglas Shooter

Prosecutors Will Seek Death Penalty for Accused Stoneman Douglas Shooter

Florida prosecutors will ask for the death penalty for confessed Parkland school gunman Nikolas Cruz, State Attorney Michael Satz said Tuesday.

According to the Associated Press, the office filed the formal notice Tuesday.

The offer was declined by prosecutors for several reasons - among them, "heinous, atrocious and cruel" nature of the crimes and the "cold, calculated and premeditated way" it was handled, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder for the attack on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in which 14 students and three staff died.

Cruz is scheduled for an arraignment Wednesday on the murder and attempted murder charges.

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Cruz's lawyers previously said the former student would plead guilty only if the death penalty was not pursued by state prosecutors. If Cruz is convicted, the only other possible sentence he can serve is life in prison without parole.

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

Cruz now "stands mute" before the charges, having withdrawn a written "not guilty" plea after being indicted by the grand jury.

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

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