Nikolas Cruz Intends To Plead Guilty

Nicole Martin, Copy Editor

Three years ago, on Feb. 14, 2018, devastation struck Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL when a shooter opened fire. It left a total of 17 students and faculty members dead and another 17 injured. The shooting is recorded as one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history and resulted in numerous protests to end gun violence and change existing gun laws.

Almost three years later, the man responsible for the massacre, Nikolas Cruz, intends to plead guilty this Friday on 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.

Immediately following the shooting, Cruz pleaded “not guilty” to the case, despite confessing to police before that, according to a probable cause affidavit.

According to prosecutors, there is currently the possibility that Cruz could be sentenced to death. However, Cruz’s lawyers are arguing for life in prison instead. At the start of the case, Cruz’s lawyers tried to argue for life in prison without parole if prosecutors removed the possibility of the death penalty, but prosecutors quickly shut this down. Whether the death penalty is imposed or not, there will still be some kind of major penalty, according to Broward State Attorney Office.

If this guilty plea becomes final, it could put a case that has affected the families and friends of those who fell victim to the tragic shooting that Valentine’s Day to rest.  

In addition to the Parkland school shooting case, Cruz is also pleading guilty to a case in November 2018, where he attacked a jail guard. Cruz is being charged with assault, battery and multiple other charges.