Jury selection starts in Colorado theater shooting trial

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Can Colorado Give You a Jury You Would Want?.

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Three prospective jurors were using their cellphones on Tuesday despite a judge’s order, one might have been asleep, and all of them endured a slow security screening as the long slog toward picking a jury in the Colorado theater shooting trial got underway.

As the jury selection begins in what may become Colorado’s longest and highest profile trial, the whole concept of jury duty in Colorado is being brought into sharp focus.CENTENNIAL, Colorado — A judge in Colorado began the process on Tuesday of choosing the jury for the murder trial of James Holmes, the former neuroscience graduate student who killed 12 people in July 2012 at a midnight screening of a Batman movie. The Denver Post reported this week about how the citizens who served as jurors in the Timothy McVeigh case suffered from stress disorders and other problems after serving on that high profile case.

Jury selection may take up to four months as Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour seeks to narrow a field of some 9,000 possible jurors to a panel of 12 and 12 alternates. Holmes, sporting a new look, sat quietly and appeared engaged on Tuesday as proceedings began at his trial on murder and other charges in connection with the 2012 mass shooting in a suburban Denver movie theater. In initial court appearances after the shooting, Holmes wore an orange jail jumpsuit and a dazed look, but he appeared more conventional Tuesday in khaki slacks, dress shirt and blue blazer.

If you were either on trial, or a person who hurt or murdered a loved one of yours was on trial, do you think the state of Colorado could guarantee a quality jury of your peers? NEW YORK — A Brooklyn man who admitted to helping al-Qaida scout the New York Stock Exchange for a possible terrorist attack was sentenced to 15 years in prison, amid growing concerns of sleeper terror cells in Europe and the United States. Wesam El-Hanafi’s effort to fight for al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Somalia was rejected by the group’s leadership in Yemen, which instead sent him and his co-defendant Sabirhan Hasanoff back to New York, Assistant U.S.

Also gone was the jailhouse garb that he has worn for every appearance in the more than two years since the attack on the Aurora, Colo., movie theater. Court officials initially summoned 9,000 prospective jurors, but that figure fell to about 7,000 after some summonses could not be delivered and some people were excused. WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously ruled that Arkansas corrections officials had violated the religious liberty rights of Muslim inmates by forbidding them to grow beards. If any of these people happen to work for one of those companies that doesn’t pay after the third day of jury service, what will that do to their stress level?

What will their concentration level be throughout the trial if they know that they are earning the equivalent of the poverty level to feed their families for five months? Fifty-five-year-old Stephen Pasceri of Millbury, Mass., was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a hospital examination room Tuesday after he apparently shot the doctor twice. A record 9,000 summons have been sent to prospective jurors in Arapahoe County, but that has been winnowed to 7,000 because of the usual technicalities such as outdated addresses.

And as a cherry on top of that sundae, imagine that these poor citizens will endure this stress in relative isolation from loved ones for an expected five months or longer. – Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. The 5-year-old found his grandfather’s .22-caliber revolver in the bedroom and was playing with it when he ended up shooting his younger brother, said Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White.

The gunshots came less than a second apart, round after round, until 12 people were dead and more than 70 others injured, some permanently, in the barrage of shotgun and semiautomatic gunfire let loose during a screening of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.” It has never been in doubt that Holmes, a once brilliant but deeply troubled neuroscience student at the University of Colorado-Denver, pulled the trigger: In July 2013, his lawyers admitted in pretrial court filings that their client was the shooter but contended he had been “in the throes of a psychotic episode.” Last month, his parents, Robert and Arlene Holmes, broke their silence to issue a statement expressing sympathy with the victims but also saying their son “is not a monster.” They pleaded for his life to be spared: “He is a human being gripped by a severe mental illness.” The case is being closely watched for its legal implications. TransCanada filed court papers in nine Nebraska counties to start the process of forcing access to the private lands the company says are needed for the pipeline to pump Canadian crude to the Gulf Coast.

The defense previously offered to let Holmes plead guilty without the possibility of parole if the prosecution would agree not to pursue the death penalty. George Brauchler refused, proclaiming that, for Holmes, “justice is death.” In Colorado, someone who is insane cannot be put to death, and it is up to the prosecution to convince a jury that the defendant was sane at the moment of the crime.

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