One of the nation’s deadliest mass shootings will be replayed in a Colorado courtroom after a jury pool of 9,000 is winnowed to a handful to decide whether James Holmes was insane when he opened fire in a suburban movie theater on July 20, 2012, the Associated Press reports. Holmes is one of the few suspects to survive such an attack. Many are killed by police or commit suicide. His parents have begged for a plea deal that would save his life, while many survivors and family members of victims have demanded that he stand trial and face the death penalty.
Jury selection begins today. The trial could run until October. It could provide a look into the mind of Holmes, whose attorneys acknowledge he was the gunman but say he was in the grip of a psychotic episode. “The public is going to get an insight into the mind of a killer who says he doesn’t know right from wrong,” said Alan Tuerkheimer, a Chicago jury consultant. “It is really rare. It just doesn’t usually come to this.” Holmes, 27, was arrested as he stripped off his combat gear outside the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, where 12 people were killed and 70 injured during a midnight showing of a new Batman movie. It could take until June to find 12 jurors and 12 alternates who were not biased by the news coverage of the shooting.