Colorado movie rampage survivors want gunman put to death

18 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Colorado Theater Shooter Guilty.

James Holmes was pronounced guilty Thursday of 165 counts of murder, attempted murder, and other charges relating to the 2012 massacre in a Colorado movie theater.CENTENNIAL, Colorado — After all 165 guilty verdicts were read and Colorado’s movie massacre gunman was taken back to a cell to await his fate, many of his victims smiled and hugged and said James Holmes must be executed for justice to be done. Survivors and their loved ones gathered outside the rain-swept courthouse Thursday evening, after Holmes was convicted of killing 12 people and wounding 70 inside a Denver-area theater.

We first met her outside the theater, two days after the shooting, where a small memorial grew into a large site for mourners to gather and survivors to grieve. “Finally, this is coming to a close”. The third anniversary of the rampage will be this Monday. “As soon as we heard the first ‘guilty’ we knew the other dominoes were going to fall,” Tom Sullivan, 60, said.

His son Alex, called Sully by his friends and co-workers, had been celebrating his 27th birthday with friends at the cinema when Holmes killed him and the others in a hail of bullets. It also means the case will advance to the penalty and sentencing phase, where prosecutors will work to convince the same jury that the defendant deserves the death penalty.

The next decision, which could take another month, will determine whether or not Holmes will be punished with death. “I’m glad we’re at this point, but at the same time, we have a long way to go,” said Marcus Weaver, a survivor who was injured in the attack and whose friend Rebecca Wingo was killed, to The Associated Press. Holmes’ mental health formed the basis of the defense’s claim he could not tell right from wrong at the time of the attack that due to schizophrenia and a psychotic breakdown and thus was legally insane. Jurors will hear more weeks of testimony, then decide whether Holmes should be put to death by lethal injection or serve a life sentence without possibility of parole. “I hope to do everything I can to see this guy’s privileges are taken away and he no longer gets to breathe the sweet air that Coloradans get to breathe,” Sullivan said.

Despite the sentence they decide upon, the juror’s lives will be forever changed by their experience, and they can add themselves to the list of victims of the Aurora theater shooting. Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler puts his head in his hands as Judge Carlos Samour Jr. reads a verdict of guilty on the count of murder in the first degree of Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6. For Sullivan, Knobbe and others forever affected by the massacre, Thursday’s unexpectedly quick verdict ended years of worrying whether a jury might buy Holmes’ insanity plea.

But after hearing from hundreds of witnesses and seeing thousands of pieces of evidence during the almost three-month long capital trial, the nine women and three men on the panel returned guilty verdicts after just about a day and a half of deliberation. During the penalty phase, jurors will consider aggravating factors, such as the murder of a child, the youngest victim, six-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan. Two of the jurors have connections to the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School, including one who survived that incident and another who is related to a survivor.

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