The jurors who convicted Holmes took more time than expected to decide whether prosecutors passed the first legal test for a death sentence.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Jury in the James Holmes Colorado theater shooting trial reached a verdict in the first phase of sentencing on Thursday. Jurors unanimously decided the death penalty can be considered for Holmes and will move on to the next phase of sentencing.
“Prosecutors said they proved several of the required “aggravating factors” in these murders beyond a reasonable doubt: That Holmes harmed an outsized number of victims when he opened fire at the midnight Batman movie premiere; that he killed a child, and that the attack was particularly heinous.”
They said capital punishment is justified because Holmes murdered a large number of victims; caused a grave risk of death to others; committed murder in a heinous, cruel or depraved manner; and laid in wait or ambush.
One factor jurors said prosecutors did not prove was that Holmes intentionally killed a child, but the other “aggravating factors” ensure that jurors will continue to consider whether he should die for his crimes.
The jury only had to find one of those aggravating factors valid in order to make Holmes eligible for the death penalty.
Prosecutors still must clear two more hurdles before Holmes can be sentenced to die.
Jurors began weighing on Wednesday whether Colorado theater shooter James Holmes, who killed 12 people and injured 70 others in a movie theater three years ago, deserved to die.
The jury rejected his claim that he was legally insane when committed the crime, but also had to consider the extent of his mental illness against the enduring pain and heartache that he caused.
The jurors who convicted Holmes took more time than expected to decide whether prosecutors passed the first legal test for a death sentence. Read the rest of this entry »