On February 14, 2018, 17 students and teachers lost their lives in a deadly school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. Police arrested Nikolas Cruz at the scene, and he has been charged with a total of 34 indictments, 17 of which are charges of first-degree murder. Cruz had originally pleaded not guilty to the crime but has withdrawn his plea to enter a no plea.
Cruz’s lawyers withdrew the not guilty plea in hopes of garnering a plea deal. He has agreed to plead guilty if they will take the death penalty off the table. If the prosecutor’s do not remove the death penalty from the table, Cruz’s lawyers plan to stand silently at the next hearing.
If the death penalty is taken off of the table, Cruz’s only other sentencing option will be to serve 34 consecutive life sentences. The parents whose children were lost on that horrible day seem divided in what they hope to happen in the case. Some are hoping for the death penalty, while others like Fred Guttenburg, father of victim Jamie Guttenburg, are hoping that he gets placed in general population in hopes of some sort of mob justice.