He was always going to get a life sentence, at minimum, but the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz was always on the table, as well.
On Tuesday, Florida prosecutors announced that they’d be seeking the death penalty for Parkland, Florida school shooter, Nikolas Cruz.
On February 14, Cruz went into his former school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and opened fire with an AR-15 rifle, killing 17 people and injuring more.
There still has been no clear motive announced, but in the days and weeks following the attack, multiple reports of past troubles, at home and at school, painted a picture of a deeply disturbed young man.
Light has also been shed on multiple local government systems failing to act in the face of this walking, talking time bomb.
The evidence against Cruz is overwhelming. Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein apparently hoped to work out a deal where a confession of guilt would result in a life sentence.
Florida prosecutors, however, feel there is enough there to seek the death penalty.
The State Attorney’s office listed seven “aggravating factors” that a jury could use to justify the death penalty, according to The Sun Sentinel.
Those factors include the “heinous, atrocious and cruel” nature of the crime, and the “cold, calculated and premeditated” it was carried out, as well as Cruz’s prior criminal record.
Cruz has admitted to the shooting, and has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
It’s a sad situation, from top to bottom.
There are seventeen families mourning, a nation in turmoil over gun rights, and a young man who didn’t get the attention he needed early, in order to stop this entire situation from happening.
And now he’s as good as dead.