Holmes to Face Death Penalty in Shooting
2013 04 01

From: wsj.com



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.
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
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.

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."

Source: wsj.com



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Illegal Aliens Cleared For U.S. Military Service
2014 10 18
The Pentagon announced a new policy allowing illegal immigrants the opportunity to enlist in the armed forces, Thursday. USA Today reports that the new recruitment policies will focus on people with "high-demand skills" like foreign language acumen and health care training: "For the first time, the program — known as Military Accessions in the National Interest, or MAVNI — will ...
Bronze Age Sundial-Moondial Discovered in Russia
2014 10 16
A strange slab of rock discovered in Russia more than 20 years ago appears to be a combination sundial and moondial from the Bronze Age, a new study finds. The slab is marked with round divots arranged in a circle, and an astronomical analysis suggests that these markings coincide with heavenly events, including sunrises and moonrises. The sundial might be "evidence of ...
Humans may only survive 68 days on Mars
2014 10 15
Space enthusiasts planning a move to Mars may have to wait to relocate: conditions on the Red Planet are such that humans would likely begin dying within 68 days, a new study says. Oxygen levels would start to deplete after about two months and scientists said new technologies are required before humans can permanently settle on Mars, according to the study ...
Tom Sunic’s letter to the US Ambassador to Hungary
2014 10 14
October 11, 2014 Mr. André Goodfriend Chargé d’Affaires Embassy of the United States of America Szabadság tér 12 H-1054 Budapest Dear Mr. Goodfriend, As an American citizen I would hereby like to express my concern over the recent decision by the Hungarian government to ban the National Policy Institute (NPI) conference which had been scheduled to take place in Budapest from October 3 to October 5, 2014. ...
"Vampire grave" found in Bulgaria
2014 10 14
A "vampire grave" containing a skeleton with a stake driven through its chest has been unearthed by a man known as "Bulgaria’s Indiana Jones". Professor Nikolai Ovcharov – a crusading archaeologist who has dedicated his life to unearthing mysteries of ancient civilisations – said that he had made the discovery while excavating the ruins of Perperikon, an ancient Thracian city ...
More News »