The jury at the murder trial for James Holmes have ruled out the death penalty. Twelve people were killed and 70 others injured in the shooting.
The verdict came as a surprise.
Two other jurors were apparently “on the fence” about the decision. “It’s a devastating result no matter what”. “I still do”, Arlene Holmes said, choking up on the stand. At least one juror agreed – a verdict of death must be unanimous. It also quickly determined the heinousness of Holmes’ crimes outweighed his mental illness.
“Shit”, a loved one of one of the victims in the audience whispered under her breath after it became clear that Holmes would not be sentenced to death.
“Our lives are forever altered and the thought that this monster gets to have visitations with h is parents, gets to receive mail and pictures from his very unusual girlfriends is very hard to accept”, said Ghawi’s mother Sandy Phillips.
“All the jurors feel so much empathy for the victims. And they were slaughtered in that movie theater”, she said. “There wasn’t a millimeter of flesh showing”, Brauchler said.
“I still think death is justice for what that guy did, but the system said otherwise”, Brauchler said.
A breakdown of the jury vote has not been released.
The late child’s grandfather, Robert Sullivan, said: “We always knew this was a possibility”, reports Fox News.
It’s unclear why the juror decided to spare Holmes’ life.
Ashley Moser, who is paralyzed and lost her 6-year-old daughter during the shooting, sobbed in her wheelchair and shook her head. “Sorry, Caleb”, she told him. The families of the victims remain unsatisfied with the verdict.
Jurors in the Colorado theater shooting have been dismissed after failing to agree on a sentence for gunman James Holmes.
A total of 2,695 pieces of evidence were presented to the jury during the trial which took place over the past three months.
The jurors returned the sentence Friday.
Prosecutors argued the attack was clearly premeditated, with Holmes planning and amassing weapons for months, as well as elaborately booby-trapping his apartment to kill anyone who tried to enter. Prosecutors refused a pre-trial plea deal that would have kept him behind bars for life, calling Holmes the personification of evil and saying that death was the only appropriate response. As they walked back into the courtroom shortly after 5 p.m. (7 p.m. ET), they made no eye contact with anyone.
Three years later, in July of this year he was convicted on 165 charges, the jury rejecting the defense case that he was not guilty because of his mental illness.
But finally they were unable to agree a sentence. Judge Carlos Samour read the verdicts just after 5 p.m. They were all the same. “He will be punished severely and he will be punished for the rest of his life”.
The prosecution had argued that Holmes should be executed by lethal injection.
The panel of nine women and three men deliberated for about an hour Thursday before going home without reaching a decision. “They were called to do things that many people wouldn’t or couldn’t do”, said Brauchler.
Holmes’ defense attorneys blamed the attack on his client’s schizophrenia and psychotic delusions.