James Holmes Faces Death Penalty Because It’s the Only Just Punishment for His Crimes

Prosecutors announced Monday that they will seek the death penalty for James Holmes, the man charged with killing 12 and wounding dozens of others in last summer’s Colorado movie theater shooting spree. Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler said, “It’s my determination and my intention that in this case for James Eagan Holmes justice is death.”

The move was not unexpected, as the prosecution rejected a plea offer from Holmes’ lawyers last week. The offer would have exchanged life in prison without the possibility for parole for a guilty plea.

The New York Times reports:

The decision by the district attorney came after consultations with dozens of victims and their families. In the courtroom, some of the victims’ family members began crying at the prosecutors’ announcement.

One of those present in an overflow courtroom at the time of the announcement was Bryan Beard, whose best friend Alex Sullivan was killed in the attack. "I had a huge adrenaline rush," he said. "I love the choice, I love it, I love it ... I hope I'm in the room when he dies."

While the taking of a life is never something to be cheered, sometimes crimes are so horrific that the death penalty is the right way to go. It isn’t about bloodlust, it’s about justice and closure for the survivors, as well as for the friends and family members of the deceased.

Not to mention, it could be a deterrent to others with similar crimes in mind.

While Holmes has not yet been convicted as the perpetrator of the bloody massacre last July, little doubt remains that he was the gunman -- especially after trying for a plea bargain. He was arrested within minutes of the shooting, in the parking lot of the Century 16 multiplex in Aurora where victims lay dying. He was wearing black body armor and had a Glock handgun on the roof of his car.

Given the amount of evidence, not to mention the number of eyewitnesses, the trial and its outcome will likely hinge on the sanity issue. Holmes has not entered an insanity plea, but his attorneys have called him mentally ill and have dropped hints that their case will center around the former neuroscience student’s mental state at the time of the shooting.

Do you think the death penalty is appropriate in this case?

Image via Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office

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eupeptic eupeptic

I personally would prefer that we do as much as is possible to gain an understanding of what led to him behaving the way he did and share that information publicly so we can identify others like him before they do similar things rather than simply put him to death.

Vegeta Vegeta

Too bad they can't lock him in a theatre full of smoke and shoot at him. Gotta be humane or whatever.

nonmember avatar andie

If ever there was a case that cried out for the death penalty, this is it.

nonmember avatar Sarah

I completely agree, Eupeptic. We should be focused on preventing more tragedies like this. Unfortunately, I don't think the death penalty accomplishes that. People who do these types of things are nuts (not a clinic term), and they are obviously NOT deterred by the consequences, or they commit suicide rather than face those consequences as happened in Newtown.

worms... wormspoop

I don't like the death penalty. I think we should do all the testing that we do on animals on people like this instead. Some of the test are extremely painful.

jmama... jmama0307

No I don't agree with the death penalty. He isn't insane. I never believed that. Of course his attorneys are going to say that they qant to win and get paid. What I think should be in this case life without parole. So he dies slowly in time so he has time to think of his crazy stupid stunt instead of killing him in an instant. Prob that's what he wants after all rotting in jail is practically the same thing. No freedom no nothing. Or do what one of the PP said put him in a movie theater and kill him the same way. 

sssdnm sssdnm

No just let him suffer in confinement for the rest of his life. Death is the easy way out

nonmember avatar Trish

It always gets me when people state things like, "suffering life in prison is the best punishment" or "death is the easy way out". I cannot disagree more. First of all, in my opinion, prison is too good for most murderers and rapists. They get their 3 meals, they get tv and rec time, exercise, they get to read books and write letters and even receive visits from family members. Some "prisons" allow these criminals classes and other activities. And that's just some of it... it sure doesn't sound a whole lot like just punishment to me. Some of these people took lives so carelessly and thoughtlessly, and yet "rotting in prison for life" they still get to enjoy many luxuries and ammenities that we could only wish that their victims could. In cases like the Aurora shooter, prison is too good for him. He doesn't deserve it. And crazy or not, chances are this guy does not want to die. Who really wants to die? If given the choice of prison or death, how many would really choose death? Death is the ultimate punishment and for some criminals, again in my opinion, death is the only correct option.

bella... bellacazzate

If only death by firing squad was still a thing. He doesn't deserve the taxes Americans pay to keep people in prison. Finish him. 

Deb Elkins

Not lethal injection...thats too easy....hang him!

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