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MIAMI (AP) – Florida prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz in the fatal shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The office of Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz filed the formal notice Tuesday. The 19-year-old Cruz is scheduled for formal arraignment Wednesday on a 34-count indictment, including 17 first-degree murder charges.
Cruz’s attorneys have said he would plead guilty if the death penalty was not pursued in the Valentine’s Day massacre. The action by prosecutors Tuesday does not necessarily mean a plea deal will not be reached.
The only other penalty option for Cruz is life in prison with no possibility of parole.
A Florida man whose son and daughter survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School says he doesn’t care if the alleged shooter faces life in prison or the death penalty.
Ira Jaffe said in a statement Tuesday that he can see both sides of the death penalty debate but that he doesn’t think anyone should spend any more time thinking about Nikolas Cruz. He says Cruz will rot in hell no matter when it is that he arrives there.
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