Jury selection for the sentencing trial of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooter Nikolas Cruz began on Monday.
More than 1,500 candidates are expected to be shortlisted before 12 jurors and eight alternates are chosen, Judge Elizabeth Scherer told WPBF-TV. The trial will last four to six months.
The jury will decide whether the 23-year-old, who pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the shooting in Parkland, Florida, will receive the death penalty or life in prison, reported WPBF.
Cruz opened fire on the school on February 14, 2018, killing 14 students and three staff. The shooting has once again thrust the gun control movement into the spotlight, sparking March for Our Lives protests across the country.
The screening process will take several weeks, with around 240 people to screen each Monday and Wednesday, Judge told WPBF. The contestants will be asked if they can adjudicate the case fairly despite any resentment toward Cruz. They must also show that they can vote for the death penalty if they think the evidence requires it, but also that they think life in prison is a valid option for murder, Scherer added.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
Update 4/4/22, 10:46 a.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information and information.