James Holmes Gets 12 Life Sentences in Aurora Shootings

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Colorado gunman James Holmes jailed for life without parole.

THE man who unleashed a murderous attack on a packed Colorado movie theatre has been sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 3318 years — the maximum allowed by law — before the judge told deputies, “Get the defendant out of my courtroom, please.” The gallery applauded the remark by Judge Carlos A Samour Jr as he gavelled the hearing to a close, ending a gruelling three-year wait to see the gunman brought to justice. Holmes’ carefully planned and merciless attack was carried out on hundreds of defenceless moviegoers who were watching a midnight Batman film premiere in Aurora. Samour, Jr., added more than 3,300 years to the sentence for the additional convictions of attempted murder and possession of explosives, according to the Associated Press. Holmes, who has been diagnosed with varying forms of schizophrenia, could end up in the corrections department’s mental hospital, the 250-bed San Carlos Correctional Facility in Pueblo.

Though the jury rejected Holmes’ plea of insanity and returned a guilty verdict, they were not unanimous — 11-1, in favor — about a death sentence. “The defendant will never be a free man again, ever,” Samour told the courtroom. “The place of death, generally speaking, has been determined. Holmes moved from California to Colorado in 2011 and entered a prestigious postgraduate neuroscience program at the University of Colorado, Denver, but he dropped out after a year.

He also dismissed complaints that the trial was a waste of time, noting it gave family members and survivors an opportunity to tell the world about their ordeal. Prosecutors subsequently said one juror refused to sentence Holmes to death, apparently swayed by defence arguments that he did not deserve execution because he suffers from mental illness. They said Holmes had been obsessed with the idea of mass killing since childhood, and he pursued neuroscience in an effort to find out what was wrong with his brain. She said his mental illness and medications make it hard for him to express it. “We know that is very, very hard for people to see,” Arlene Holmes testified. “We cannot feel the depths of your pain.

Prosecutors pointed both to Holmes’ elaborate planning for the attack and his refusal to divulge to anyone – family, friends, psychiatrists — that he was thinking, and planning, murder.

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