The shooter who claimed responsibility for the 2018 shooting in Parkland, Florida, that claimed 17 lives will plead guilty to all charges, his lawyers say.
Nikolas Cruz, who said he was the one who opened fire on students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and attempted to kill many more, will enter guilty pleas to all 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 more counts of attempted first-degree murder from those injured.
Cruz made the pleas without any conditions, but defense attorneys said they are hoping for life in prison, rather than the death penalty, a sentence that would be insufficient in the eyes of some victims' families.
"We would like to see him suffer," Annika Dworet, who, along with her husband Mitch, were the only victims' parents to attend the hearing, said.
Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed in the shooting, agreed that Cruz should be executed, but he called death by lethal injection "too peaceful," adding, "I'd rather see a hanging in a public square."
Prosecutors said they are seeking the death penalty, but the sentencing decision will come from a jury in the next few months. No date has been set.
Three teachers and 14 students died after Cruz shot them in February 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen additional people were wounded.
Cruz's trial, which was set to begin in 2020, was delayed twice, first to allow lawyers time to build a case and then due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the shooting, several surviving students became activists, with many advocating for stricter gun control measures.
Others said the incident showed lapses in the security at Florida's public high schools, and the state passed a law that required an armed guard on the campus of every public school in the state during school hours.
Broward County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer set a change of plea hearing for Cruz for Wednesday.
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Original Author: Misty Severi