James Holmes, the only suspect in the Aurora, Colorado theater mass shooting, apparently doesn't want to die. Like most mass murderers, he doesn't value anyone's life -- except his own. (Adam Lanza didn't even value his own.) Reports are saying that Holmes' defense team submitted a plea deal yesterday -- Holmes would plead guilty to avoid the death penalty. Today, however, prosecutors reportedly rejected that plea.
Prosecutors rejected the plea because they don't believe a genuine one actually exists. They said anyone who read the news stories about the supposed plea deal would conclude that "the defendant knows that he is guilty, the defense attorneys know that he is guilty, and that both of them know that he was not criminally insane." Which apparently isn't the case because the defense isn't offering up enough information.
Which is kind of complex, but these are lawyers we're talking. Is anything ever simple with them? The point is this -- Holmes' team is apparently sniffing around for a no-death penalty plea deal, and there's no way that James hasn't had a say in it one way or the other.
What this means is that both parties are concerned about the outcome here. The defense must know that an insanity plea is going to be very difficult to prove. But the prosecution knows it's always a possibility they'll manage it. (Juries, as we know from the Casey Anthony case, can occasionally be daft.)
The death penalty is always a gamble too. Sometimes jurors might want a suspect to be found guilty, but they shy away from putting someone -- even someone as heinous as Holmes -- to death.
But the surprise is how much Holmes must value his own hide, considering he has supposedly attempted to take his life in prison. It's amazing how cowardly a guy like this can get when he's not in charge with guns, ammo, and a bullet-proof vest. Suddenly life becomes sacred! His own life, that is, not the life of his 12 victims and the dozens of others he tried to kill. Not the life of 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan or her pregnant mother's baby.
Either way, the taxpayers pick up the costs of housing this monster for a very long time -- either for the rest of his life, or until his state-mandated death. Generally, I am anti-death penalty, but it's really hard to be at all concerned about the life of someone like James Holmes.
Do you think that Holmes should be able to plea and avoid the death penalty?
Image via AOL On