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Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at the defense table during jury selection at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 6, 2021. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Nikolas Cruz on Wednesday pleaded guilty on all counts for carrying out the 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, including 14 students and three staff members.

Driving the news: Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty at a hearing on Wednesday to 17 murder counts and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for carrying out the deadly shooting.

  • The case now turns to a penalty phase, where a 12-person jury will determine Cruz's sentencing, AP reports.
  • Family members of the victims killed by Cruz on Feb. 14, 2018, sat in the courtroom to watch the hearing, wiping tears and holding each other.
  • Cruz, given the chance to speak, said that he understands that a jury will decide his penalty, but he believes the victims should choose "whether I should take life or death."
  • Cruz last week also pleaded guilty to attacking a jail guard nine months after the shooting.

The big picture: Cruz and his lawyers have long sought to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence instead of the death penalty, AP writes.

  • Prosecutors, however, including longtime Broward State Attorney Mike Satz, have rejected the deal, saying the death penalty should be considered.
  • The Parkland shooting set off a wave of activism from survivors of the deadly attack, prompting the launch of March for Our Lives and leading students around the country to call for tighter gun control legislation.

What to watch: A jury will decide the sentencing for Cruz. Hearings to select the jury are scheduled throughout November and December, with a goal to begin testimony in January, per AP.

Go deeper

Ahmaud Arbery's family reacts to guilty verdict

Rev. Al Sharpton, center, walks with Wanda Cooper-Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, left, and Marcus Arbery, right, father of Ahmaud Arbery, outside the Glynn County Courthouse following the verdict announcement. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Ahmaud Arbery’s parents, Marcus Arbery and Wanda Cooper-Jones, reacted on Wednesday to the guilty verdict for all three of their son’s killers.

What they're saying: "We conquered that lynch mob. We got that lynch mob," Marcus Arbery said. "We don’t want to see nobody go through this. I wouldn’t want to see no daddy watch their kid get lynched and shot down like that."

Progressives to file resolution to strip Boebert's committee seats

Rep. Lauren Boebert walking through the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House progressives are planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The move, which was first reported by the Washington Post, comes as progressives — anxious to see the right-wing firebrand face retribution for her recent comments — have grown frustrated by Democratic leadership's inaction on the issue.

Roger Stone won't cooperate with Jan. 6 panel

Longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone speaking in front of the Supreme Court on Jan. 5 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone won't cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and will invoke the Fifth Amendment right not to testify, his attorney said Tuesday evening.

Why it matters: The announcement, first reported by ABC News, came hours after former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said he wouldn't cooperate with the probe.