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Crime: Parkland Parent Wants Daughter's Killer to Pay 'Ultimate Price,' Pushes for Death Penalty

Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz to plead guilty to all 17 counts of premeditated murder, 17 counts attempted: report

  Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz to plead guilty to all 17 counts of premeditated murder, 17 counts attempted: report Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz will plead guilty to all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder, according to a new report. © Amy Beth Bennett Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is shown at the defense table during pre-trial motions at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, on four criminal counts stemming from his alleged attack on a Broward jail guard in November 2018. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP, Pool) The now 23-year-old burst into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Feb.

Fred Guttenberg lost his daughter Jaime over three years ago in the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Now Guttenberg hopes the man responsible for the tragedy doesn't avoid the death penalty because of a sudden change to his plea.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the 2018 Parkland shooting, wants Nikolas Cruz to be sentenced to death for his crimes. People visit a makeshift memorial setup in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 19, 2018, in Parkland, Florida. © Joe Raedle/Getty Images Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the 2018 Parkland shooting, wants Nikolas Cruz to be sentenced to death for his crimes. People visit a makeshift memorial setup in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 19, 2018, in Parkland, Florida.

On Wednesday, Nikolas Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder for the February 14, 2018, deaths of 14 students and three staff members. Prosecutors resisted pushes from the defendant's attorney to have him plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence. It will be up to 12 jurors to determine if the 23-year-old is placed on death row.

Hearing set abruptly in 2018 Florida school massacre case

  Hearing set abruptly in 2018 Florida school massacre case FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A last-minute court hearing is set Friday in Florida for Nikolas Cruz, the man police said has confessed to the 2018 massacre of 17 people at a suburban high school. The hearing in Broward County Circuit Court was scheduled abruptly Thursday and does not describe the purpose. But WSVN-TV reported without citing sources by name that Cruz would plead guilty to all 17 murder counts against him. Cruz's attorneys did notThe hearing in Broward County Circuit Court was scheduled abruptly Thursday and does not describe the purpose. But WSVN-TV reported without citing sources by name that Cruz would plead guilty to all 17 murder counts against him.

"I want my daughter's killer to pay the ultimate price with his life for what he did," Gutenberg told Newsweek. "I want the death penalty."

The shooter had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School the year before the shooting and had a history of threatening, unusual and at times violent behavior.

Police said the defendant, 23, confessed to having carried out the shooting. He had previously pleaded not guilty to the 17 counts of murder in 2019. Few details were shared about what prompted him now to change his plea.

The 23-year-old's attorneys are likely to use his guilty plea to try to persuade a jury to spare his life, arguing that he took responsibility for his actions. However, the Broward State Attorney's Office confirmed there were no "plea negotiations."

Abrupt hearing set for man accused of Parkland shootings: report

  Abrupt hearing set for man accused of Parkland shootings: report A hearing has been set for Friday for Nikolas Cruz, the man accused of carrying out the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead and led to new calls for gun control in the United States.The Associated Press and other outlets described the scheduling of the hearing as abrupt, and one local outlet, WSVN-TV, reported Cruz, 23, would plead guilt to 17 murder counts and 17 counts of attempted murder. The Hill has not verified that report, and WSVN did not cite its sources.

Broward State Attorney Mike Satz has been pushing for a death sentence and remains the chief prosecutor on the case despite having stepped down as state attorney in January. Harold Pryor, his successor, opposes the death penalty but said his office would review every case that is eligible for the death penalty.

Twenty-seven states allow for capital punishment, an issue that's been debated for decades. Just as the two attorneys have been split on the form of punishment, so are the families of the students who were killed during the Parkland shooting as well as the victims.

"We all know he is guilty, and finally, he knows he is guilty and will share that," Manuel Olivier, whose son Joaquin was killed, told WSVN. "I'm glad it is not that easy to get rid of the death penalty. It's not like, 'I'm guilty, now I won't die because of this.'"

Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was killed, also backed a jury finding the 23-year-old's crime warranted the death penalty. She told WPLG that it was "very important" to her and her family that the 23-year-old doesn't "live a life in prison" but is "executed and killed."

Parkland shooter addresses court as he pleads guilty

  Parkland shooter addresses court as he pleads guilty Nikolas Cruz is pleading guilty in the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting. Cruz replied "guilty" when Judge Elizabeth Scherer asked how he wanted to plea to the slaying or wounding of each victim. Parents of the slain students watched from the courtroom and wiped tears from their eyes.

Cameron Kasky, a survivor of the shooting, posted on Twitter that it's a "good thing when somebody who committed mass murder confesses to committing mass murder." However, he called the death penalty "archaic and unacceptable," adding, this is not the "Stone Age."

Given that the 23-year-old is still headed for a penalty phase—where the death penalty remains on the table—Guttenberg, who was surprised by the shooter's new plea, criticized the decision to drag out the trial.

"Based upon the choice they're making this could have been done three-and-a-half years ago. It has put my family and other families through hell," Gutenberg told Newsweek.

Gutenberg attended Wednesday's hearing. While it's "almost impossible" to remain calm in the courtroom, he said he would do whatever was necessary to contain himself so as not to "make anything worse."

After the hearing, with strength and guidance from his late daughter, Gutenberg plans to return to the cemetery to visit her.

"There may be a path to justice but not closure," he said.

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The use of assault weapons is on the rise. In the last three years, 67% of gun massacres were with assault weapons. Alex Schachter, a 14-year-old marching band member gunned down in the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting, would have graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this year.

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