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Parkland shooter on trial

Jury selection to begin in Parkland shooter's death penalty trial

Jury selection is set to begin in the trial that will determine whether the man who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, receives the death penalty. 

Nikolas Cruz has already pleaded guilty to multiple charges including 17 counts of first-degree murder, but jurors will be asked to decide whether he should be sentenced to death or receive a life sentence. Jury selection officially begins on Monday in Florida, and as many as 1,500 people will be considered as potential jurors, The Associated Press reports

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Cruz over the "heinous, atrocious" school shooting, which left 17 students and staff members dead in 2018. After pleading guilty to all charges last year, Cruz said, "I am very sorry for what I did, and I have to live with it every day. If I were to get a second chance, I would do everything in my power to try to help others." 

Jurors will need to come to a unanimous agreement that Cruz should receive the death penalty or he will receive a sentence of life in prison instead, according to CNN. Public defender Stephen Harper explained to NPR, "The prosecutor is going to argue that this was a totally evil, unnecessary, and horrible act. The defense is going to argue that their client was seriously mentally ill." 

The jury selection process is expected to last several weeks, and according to the AP, prospective jurors will need to be available through September.