Holmes to Face Death Penalty in Shooting
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for James Holmes, who has been accused of committing 12 first degree murders and scores of other crimes in a mass shooting at a movie theater near Denver in July.
"For James Eagan Holmes, justice is death," District Attorney George Brauchler said at a court hearing Monday.
The decision immediately prompted a delay in the trial, which had been set for August but is now scheduled to start next year. Prosecutors acknowledged in court Monday that a death-penalty case involves extra time for such matters as interviewing potential jurors about their position on capital punishment.
Mr. Holmes’s defense team said it would need months to prepare. "They are trying to execute our client," Tamara Brady, one of Mr. Holmes’s public defenders, said in court. "We will do what we need to do to defend his life."
Judge William Sylvester, who had been hearing the case since the shootings in Aurora, Colo., has entered a not-guilty plea for Mr. Holmes, but his lawyers have said they are considering an insanity defense.
Judge Sylvester said Monday that his duties as a chief district judge made it impossible for him to continue presiding now that "a final resolution of this case is now likely years away."
The same "very present" and attentive look we’ve gotten used to see on Holmes.He appointed a new judge, Carlos Samour, who took over immediately. He set a Feb. 3 trial date but acknowledged the defense may ask for that date to be pushed back and said the trial could take at least four months.
James Holmes Appears In Court -- Has He Been Forcibly Drugged?
James Holmes Family Tied To DARPA And Mind Manipulation Work
James Holmes’ father, Robert Holmes, set to provide crippling info on Libor & other banking scandal
Prosecutors in a capital case must first persuade jurors of Mr. Holmes’s guilt, then, in a separate proceeding, convince the same jurors that aggravating circumstances such as multiple victims justify a death sentence. The defense can raise mitigating factors, such as his mental state, to try to persuade jurors to impose a sentence of life in prison instead.
In January, a retired prosecutor with experience in capital cases, Dan Zook, was appointed to lead the state’s case.
The decision to seek the death penalty came less than a week after a Colorado House committee narrowly voted to shelve a bill that would have abolished capital punishment in the state. The vote followed statements made by Gov. John Hickenlooper that indicated unease with the bill.
Within the last year, legislatures in two states—Connecticut and Maryland—have voted to abolish their death penalties.
Execution in Colorado is by lethal injection and hasn’t been carried out since 1997 on Gary Davis, who had been convicted of raping and murdering a woman in 1986. That execution was the first in Colorado in 30 years.
Lengthy delays between conviction and execution are often the result of protracted post-trial appeals and motions, said legal experts.
Because of the delays, opponents of capital punishment in Colorado doubted that the decision to seek the death penalty against Mr. Holmes would ultimately give victims the solace they are seeking.
"It’s emotionally more difficult for the victims than it would be had the state sought life," said Dan Schoen, a death-penalty opponent and the executive director of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar. "It’s an open wound that will fester for 20 years."
Death-penalty supporters said the Holmes case was well-suited for the death penalty. "If not now, when" asked Craig Silverman, a former Denver chief deputy district attorney now in private practice. "A decision by prosecutors not to seek the death penalty in this case would have been the functional equivalent of abolishing it entirely."
Prosecutors have said that Mr. Holmes, who had dropped out of a graduate program in neuroscience shortly before the shooting, engaged in elaborate preparations, including buying weaponry and body armor and booby-trapping his apartment.
Mr. Holmes was in court Monday, as were his parents. They showed little reaction to the district attorney’s announcement, but some victims of the shooting and their families began crying.
Marcus Weaver, who was shot and injured in the theater, said he believed life in prison was the proper sentence but that the consensus among the victims was in favor of the death penalty. Mr. Weaver called on Mr. Holmes to plead guilty even if that would mean his execution.
"Mr. Holmes, if you’re listening to a victim, if you’d just plead guilty, we could all move forward," Mr. Weaver told reporters outside the court. "Your penalty has been decided. Just accept it, and be a man."
Latest News from our Front Page
Physician Linking Autism - Vaccines Found Shot Dead.
James Jeffrey Bradstreet was a hero to many parents. He spent a great part of his life trying to fight for those children who sustained injuries from vaccines via the creation of medical procedures. This included his very own son.
Clearly, his ideas and concepts and science were not accepted by all and created a great many heated debates online. On ...
Pedophiles Now Demanding Equality - Wanting Their Equal Rights to Marriage
Using the same tactics used by “gay” rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals.
Critics of the homosexual lifestyle have long claimed that once it became acceptable to identify homosexuality as simply an “alternative lifestyle” or sexual orientation, logically nothing would be off limits ...
Time: Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn To Live as Exiles in Our Own Country
Rod Dreher is a senior editor and blogger at The American Conservative.
Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now.
No, the sky is not falling â€” not yet, anyway â€” but with the Supreme Court ruling constitutionalizing same-sex marriage, the ground under our feet has shifted tectonically.
It is hard to overstate the significance of ...
Obama: Americans need to shift religious views
From RamZPaul: Friday, President Obama gave a speech in which he said Americans need to change their religious views to be accepting of gay marriage.
11 Fake European Towns and Landmarks Made in China
We’ve known the Chinese to imitate almost everything. From luxury bags to whatever the fad is, they have it already freshly made. We’ve also known that Chinese tourists traveling around the world continue to increase due to rising incomes and less restrictive passport regime. Europe is one of the mostly visited continents and more campaigns have been launched in some ...
|More News » |