A majority of Americans (58%) say the suspect in the Florida high school shooting should get the death penalty, a new Rasmussen poll reveals. Even more, nearly half of Americans (49%) say the suspect should not be punished less severely if found to be mentally ill.
According to the poll’s findings, most Americans feel the death penalty would be a fair punishment for Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old accused of killing 17 people and seriously injuring several others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Valentine’s Day.
Only 24 percent disagree and 18 percent poll undecided.
Along party lines, most Republicans (74%) and Democrats (54%) share the view that Cruz, if convicted, should receive the death penalty.
The Broward State Attorney’s Office has not announced its decision on whether to seek the death penalty for Cruz, who is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Cruz reportedly had a "significant" history of mental illness. It remains uncertain whether his lawyers will pursue a mental health defense.
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