Court officials in Centennial, Co., are summoning one of the largest jury pools ever assembled in the U.S. as they prepare for a trial that could determine whether James Holmes will be executed for the 2012 shooting deaths of 12 people at a Colorado movie theater, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some 9,000 summonses have been mailed to Arapahoe County residents ahead of Jan. 20, when attorneys are set to begin jury selection in the case of the former graduate student who opened fire in a packed theater showing the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Jury selection could take more than four months, said Judge Carlos Samour. Jury selection is expected to be especially complicated because of the long shadow cast by the July 20, 2012, mass shooting in the Denver suburb of Aurora. In addition to those killed, about 70 people were injured, touching countless families. Further compounding circumstances is the trial's central question: Was Holmes, 27, legally insane at the time of the shooting? He faces 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other charges in the rampage, one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. If the jury convicts Holmes, the panel then would decide whether he should be executed or incarcerated.