Jury Begins Deliberating On Death Penalty In CO Theater Shooting


Twelve jurors returned to their deliberation room a final time yesterday in the Aurora theater shooting trial, carrying the weight of James Holmes’ life and the lives of the 12 people he killed on their shoulders, the Denver Post reports. After a trial of 64 days, the jury for one of the most complex criminal cases in state court history has one more question to answer: Should Holmes’ life be spared or should he be executed? The gravity of 2,695 pieces of evidence and the testimony of 302 witnesses teeter atop that single pivot. “These decisions,” Judge Carlos Samour Jr. told jurors, “may well be the most important and serious decisions that you will ever be asked to make.”

Jurors will debate the single question until they reach a unanimous answer or decide that they never will. The only way Holmes can be sentenced to death is if all 12 jurors agree to it. Anything short of that and he receives a sentence of life in prison without parole. Neither Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler nor defense attorney Tamara Brady used the full 40 minutes they were allotted for their final pleas. Brauchler said, “for James Eagan Holmes, justice is death. It’s death.” As families on the victims’ side of the courtroom audience stood up and left, Brady said, “You have to dehumanize someone before you can ask other people to kill him,” she said. “It is easier to ask you to kill a monster than it is a sick human being.”

Comments are closed.