After a three-year wait, Aurora theater shooter was finally brought to justice. He narrowly escaped death penalty, but he was sentenced to 12 life sentences for every victim he had murdered in the mayhem.
Court added to that some extra 3,312 years for the 70 survivors he tried to kill and six years for using explosives. Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr noted that the court issued the maximum sentence allowed by state law.
James Holmes, 28, will serve the life sentences with no possibility of parole. Some victims requested that he should be put to death, but the jury didn’t reach a consensus on that. Eleven jurors voted for a death sentence, while a lone juror said life sentence without parole should be better.
Under state law, jurors can impose death penalty on unanimity. Judge Samour compared the compassionate heart of that anonymous juror who voted for life sentence with Holmes’ vengeful soul.
On this final day of the trial, Judge Samour made no efforts to hide his contempt. He said that Holmes was not worthy of human sympathy after what he had done. The judge also seemed unable to comprehend how a human being is capable of “such acts.”
When he dismissed court session he asked deputies to get the man out of his court.
Holmes’ attorneys tried to make everyone believe that their client acted under temporary insanity, but the prosecution’s evidence that the gunman had carefully planned the shooting beforehand lead to the conclusion that Holmes knew what he was doing.
The court concluded that the 28-year-old man gave up on life and materialized his deep-seated hatred into a mass murder involving dozens of innocent victims and their families. He was perfectly aware of what he was doing as his friends and personal journal had shown.
When some victims complained that Holmes should be put on the death row, the judge said that it was a “fair” sentence and that he believed in the system. He even dismissed claims that the shooter may have an easy life in prison. He explained that jail was harsh and restrictive environment.
In only seven days, more than 100 survivors and witnesses testified about what they went through and impacted them for life. Victims mentioned nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks, and feeling guilty that they survived and their friends didn’t.
The shooter’s mother was the last witness to testify. She said that Holmes did feel remorse for what he did but he couldn’t express it because of his mental condition and anti-psychotic medications he was taking. Holmes’ family said that he would not appeal the sentence as a sign of respect for his victims.
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