A mourner places a candle on one of 17 crosses at a memorial for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, U.S. February 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
8:31 PM 02/16/2018
The alleged Parkland shooter will agree to plead guilty to the murder of seventeen people at a high school in exchange for the death penalty being taken off the table, his lawyer said Friday.
Broward County public defender Howard Finkelstein explained 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz is willing to plead guilty if he could have a life in prison in sentence instead in an interview with ABC News.
Finkelstein also said that a long drawn out trial wouldn’t help the community heal after the trauma of the mass shooting, adding that failures in the system led to Cruz allegedly committing his horrific crime, though it doesn’t excuse his actions.
“The school system failed. The mental health system failed. DCF [The Department of Children and Families], our social service agencies failed. Law enforcement failed because every red flag was present. And the FBI apparently failed,” Finkelstein said. “And the security measures for somebody to buy guns failed. Every single system was ignorant or willfully blind .It seems to me that this kid was screaming for help in every which way — he was failed.”
Cruz allegedly opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wednesday afternoon, killing 17 and wounding others. The FBI admitted that they failed to follow proper protocol, as they had received a tip warning about Cruz’s potential behavior.
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