That was the maximum sentence that could be given.
“The defendant does not deserve any sympathy”, the judge said.
After Samour handed down the sentence, he said, “Sheriff, get the defendant out of my courtroom, please”, then applause from the gallery broke out.
Holmes will also have an opportunity to speak, though he declined to do so during his trial.
Holmes appeared in court wearing a red prison uniform. A notebook containing his rambling thoughts and detailed plans for the massacre, as well as hours of videotaped interviews with a court-appointed psychiatrist, dominated that part of the testimony.
The 27-year-old was found guilty by a jury last month of murdering 12 people and wounding 70 in his rampage inside the packed screening a multiplex in the Denver suburb of Aurora. “He chose to take the road that led him into that theater and kill and injure so many people”.
At least 100 victims and witnesses are expected to testify. But prosecutors disdainfully portrayed him as a self-absorbed loser who lashed out violently after setbacks in his love life and his studies.
The judge described the former neuroscience student as an angry quitter who gave up on life and turned his hatred into murder and mayhem against innocent victims.
Samour was legally required to pronounce sentence for the murders and other crimes of which Holmes was convicted, including attempted murder of other movie-goers and booby-trapping his nearby apartment to draw away first responders. But the jury could not agree on the death penalty; there was a lone holdout.
The only person to testify on behalf of James Holmes was his mother, who said she has been researching mental illness and ways to prevent mass violence since the 2012 shooting at the movie theater in Aurora, Colo. The judge merged the two convictions for each victim into a single count.
Cowden and her sister, Brooke, spoke in trembling, tearful voices as they talked about how their father’s death shattered their lives and left them in a black hole of sorrow.
The grandfather of the youngest victim of the Colorado theater attack called on shooter James Holmes to “do the correct thing for once” and petition the court to be executed by firing squad.
James Holmes, 27, will serve his term without parole, officials said.
On Tuesday, defense attorney Daniel King told the judge that Holmes would not be appealing his conviction, sparing victims the possibility of another emotionally wrenching trial.
Holmes has been sentenced to the maximum available of 3,318 years in prison.
Before sentencing Holmes, Samour tried to reassure victims who were upset at the lack of a death penalty that Holmes’ punishment would still be severe.
He assured them it was not.
Samour declared that the victims in the case have shown the courage to fight larger problems than Holmes ever faced.