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Nikolas Cruz massacred 17 people in February at his former high school in Florida. The question now is does he live or die?
Broward County prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty despite his attorney's offer of a guilty plea in exchange for a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
If prosecutors seek the death penalty, Cruz will join a short list of mass shooting suspects who've faced their victims in court. Of the 10 deadliest shootings in recent US history, Cruz is the only one who was captured alive.
Some parents who lost their children at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have made their feelings known about a potential death penalty trial.
"I don't want to go through some lengthy trial that's going to be brutal. I want him to sit in a cell and rot for the rest of his life," said Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter, Meadow, was one of the victims.
"Lethal injection is painless, it's too easy for the psychopath. I don't want it -- I want life."
Some Stoneman Douglas students are conflicted on the possibility of a death penalty trial.
Student leader Emma Gonzalez describes Cruz's potential death penalty trial as a "good" thing. Another student, Cameron Kasky, wants him to "rot forever" in prison instead.
Pollack does not refer to the gunman by name, and calls him 1800-1958 -- his criminal case number. If the death penalty trial proceeds, he said, he will not attend any hearings.
Instead of facing his daughter's killer in court, Pollack said he'll focus on ensuring her memory lives on through a program he's launched to ensure school safety.
A death penalty trial would deeply divide a grieving community, leading to fingerpointing between the school board, sheriff's office and state and federal governments, who've been accused of missing Cruz's many red flags before the shooting, Finkelstein said.
Cruz's public defender has made it clear that he's not looking forward to a death penalty trial.
Finkelstein is offering Cruz 's guilty plea in exchange for 34 life sentences without parole. That would take the death penalty trial off the table and spare the victims from reliving the nightmare during testimony, he said.
Finkelstein has said his client's guilt is not the question -- he's already confessed to the killing "We have been up front, from the first 24 hours. He is guilty. He did it. It's the most awful crime in Broward county. He should go to prison for the rest of his life," Finkelstein said. "There are people in the community who believe he should be locked up and the key should be thrown away. I happen to be one of those people."
Michael Satz, Broward County's prosecutor, declined to comment on whether he's open to a plea deal.
Cruz's next court appearance is set for tomorrow. Although the main thing has already been decided by the judge earlier this week. Which was deciding on whether Nikolas would have to pay for his own lawyers or not. It was decided that he would be allowed to keep his public defender, as he had no real access to any money at this time.
So I am wondering what else will be addressed by the court on Friday?