Daily News Roundup – March 13, 2018

Florida School Shooter Nikolas Cruz Awaits Verdict on Death Penalty

Prosecutors in Florida will be pursuing the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz, who was indicted on 17 counts of premeditated murder in the first degree and 17 counts of attempted murder in the first degree.  Cruz was arrested shortly after committing the Valentine’s Day killings and fleeing the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School campus among terrified students. Seventeen students and teachers died in the shooting.

If Cruz’s defense intends on citing testimony regarding their client’s mental health, prosecutors have already asked the court to place provisions to handle such a situation.  In a previous hearing, a public defender described him as a “deeply disturbed, emotionally broken” young man, while classmates and others who knew him described his behavior showing signs of mental illness.

This now resurfaces a long standing debate about the death penalty and what is considered mental illness.  Tuesday’s news comes one day before the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. On Wednesday, students across the nation intend to walk out of schools in solidarity with the Parkland students and to demand tougher gun control laws.