Parkland high school shooter’s penalty trial begins

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – The penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz has begun. It’s the deadliest U.S. mass shooting to go before a jury.

Opening statements will be made and the first witnesses called. The trial is expected to last four months, all to decide whether the 23-year-old Cruz will be executed or sentenced to life without parole for the 2018 massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The prosecution is expected to emphasize how cruel and merciless the shootings were. The defense will argue that Cruz was abused and suffered from mental problems his entire life.