Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz

Nikolas Cruz could be put to death by the state of Florida if he's found guilty for the slaying of the 17 victims in Parkland

Nikolas Cruz could be put to death by the state of Florida if he's found guilty for the slaying of the 17 victims in Parkland

Florida prosecutors will ask for the death penalty for confessed Parkland school gunman Nikolas Cruz, State Attorney Michael Satz said Tuesday. Lawyers for Mr. Cruz, who have repeatedly said that he would plead guilty in exchange for life in prison without the possibility of parole, are not expected to contest his guilt at what is certain to be an agonizing and emotional trial.

Seventeen people were killed and several others were injured after Cruz allegedly opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month.

Satz argued that the death penalty was warranted because Cruz "knowingly created a great risk of death to many persons" and committed a crime in a "cold, calculated and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification", and because the crime "was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel", according to a copy of the filing.

This story will be updated.

The filing follows after Mr Cruz's attorneys signalled that their client was willing to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty.

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Nikolas Cruz, 19, is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in connection with the mass shooting.

In an email on Tuesday, Mr Finkelstein said Cruz is "immediately ready" to plead guilty in return for 34 consecutive life sentences.

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

Cruz's attorneys withdrew his not guilty plea on Friday, and Cruz now "stands mute" to the charges.

Florida voters may get a chance to decide whether or not they want to approve new gun control restrictions.

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