POLL: Theater shooter gets life, what sentence would you have given?
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — It took just 6.5 hours for the jury to arrive at a sentencing verdict in the Aurora theater shooting trial. After the short deliberation, they told the court they were hopelessly divided, leading to a life sentence for admitted gunman James Holmes. He will never be eligible for parole.
But how would you have voted had you been on the jury?
The jury could have come back with three possible decisions: a unanimous vote for the death penalty, a unanimous vote for life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or a failure to reach a unanimous verdict – in which case the court is required by law to render a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
On July 16, the same jury found James Holmes, the admitted gunman in the July 20, 2012 shooting inside the Century 16 theater that left 12 dead and 70 injured, was guilty on all 165 counts. He had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
The trial then proceeded to a sentencing hearing, where the jury found the mitigating factors presented by the defense, including that Holmes had been diagnosed with severe mental illness by every psychiatrist who had examined him, did not outweigh the aggravating factors of the crime presented by the prosecution.
That brought the trial to its third and final stage, the closing arguments for which were given Thursday.
Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler argued “justice is death” for the architect of such “horror” and “evil.” Defense attorney Tamara Brady argued “but for mental illness, this tragedy would not have happened,” and that “justice without mercy is raw vengeance.”
Knowing all that, how would you vote? You can cast that vote in the poll above.AlertMe