US cinema shooter sentenced to life term

The man who was convicted of killing 12 people and wounding 70 others inside a Colorado cinema has been formally sentenced to life in prison.

Advertisement

The lead prosecutor also said he wished the court could order that the defendant spend the rest of his days in solitary confinement, surrounded by photos of the people he killed, but that it could not.

“The defendant does not deserve any sympathy”.

The former med student attacked moviegoers on July 20, 2012 in Aurora, CO during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises“.

“Now I have to go home and try to live with all that, and that emptiness, and yet still be happy with life going on”, she said.

The judge sentencing Colorado theater shooter James Holmes to life in prison contrasted the valor and strength of Holmes’ victims with the weakness of the defendant. His decision to study neuroscience was hinged on the fact that he wanted to discover what was wrong with him, they said.

Samour also sentenced Holmes to 48 years and five years of mandatory parole for almost each of the people injured in the theater that night. Earlier this month, a jury hung on whether or not to give Holmes the death penalty. Prosecutors have said the jury was divided on the sentence, with 11 favoring death and one favoring life without parole.

Samour handed down the sentences after listening to the testimonies of first responders, survivors and relatives of the deceased, according to The Seattle Times.

“Your healing is not tied to the defendant’s fate”, he told the victim and their families.

The only person to testify on Holmes’ behalf was his mother, who said she has been researching mental illness and ways to prevent mass violence. It feels like you were asking for something and were rejected.

“I still think that guy ought to die”, Brauchler said, defending the legal process that spared the killer from death.

“We are unable to pick up the phone and say ‘Hi, how are you doing?’ We are unable to write them…”

During the final sentencing hearing, which started Monday, witnesses, survivors and family members were given unrestricted permission to speak in open court about the crime and how it affected them.

Advertisement

Victims told of friendships shattered and marriages broken.

By RJ Sangosti  Denver Post via Getty Images