Prosecutors in Colorado have announced that they will be seeking the death penalty for the guy who killed 12 and wounded 70 at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises last summer. Sorry about the picture, I’m trying to type his name and show his face as little as possible.
Prosecutors said Monday that they will seek the death penalty for James Holmes, the man accused of gunning down 12 people and wounding 70 at a Batman movie last summer in Colorado.
George Brauchler, the district attorney for Arapahoe County, said he made the decision after speaking with more than 800 victims and family members.
“It’s my determination and my intention that in this case, for James Eagan Holmes, justice is death,” he said at a hearing.
Brauchler had already rejected an offer from the defense to let Holmes plead guilty and serve a life sentence.
Judge William Sylvester of the Colorado circuit court entered a plea of not guilty for Holmes last month after his lawyers said they were not ready to plead. The judge left the door open for lawyers to mount an insanity defense.
Sylvester on Monday handed the case to a new judge, Carlos Samour. Holmes’ trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 5.
Brauchler wrote an Op-Ed in The Denver Post over the weekend defending the death penalty. Colorado legislators have considered banning it. He did not name Holmes but wrote of capital punishment as an important tool of justice.
“Repealing the death penalty would result in acts similar to those in Newtown, Conn., or the acts of Tim McVeigh being punished no differently than a single murder of one gang member by another,” the prosecutor wrote. “Each murder after the first would be a freebie.”
Injection is the method for capital punishment in Colorado. The state has executed only one inmate since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in the United States in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. That execution was in 1997.
Holmes’ lawyers have said that jailers determined he was a danger to himself and needed a mental evaluation, and that he was held for several days in a psychiatric ward, sometimes in restraints. [MSNBC]
Regardless of how you feel about the death penalty, I think we can all agree that this is one of the most tasteless April Fool’s pranks of all time.