After seven hours of jury deliberation, Aurora Theater Killer, James Holmes, escaped the death penalty and instead received life without parole, it was announced moments ago. He avoided the death penalty because every jury member must agree on the death penalty in order to apply it. The jury could not come to a unanimous decision.
The very same jury turned down opportunities to deliver a sentence of life in prison, but decided that the death penalty should remain an option.
Holmes faced and was convicted of all 165 counts against him that included 12 charges of murder for the killing of 12 and the wounding of another 70.
It was three years ago that gunman, James Holmes, walked through an Aurora theater firing round after round into movie-goers at the Batman movie, “Dark Knight Rises.”
In court, Holme’s attorneys argued that Holmes was not guilty by reason of insanity, the jury rejected that defense. But, they also did not elect to sentence him to be the fourth person on Colorado death row. It is relatively rare to be given a death sentence in Colorado, in forty years, only 22 people have been sentenced to death in that state.
With life without the chance of parole avoids the added costs of decades of appeals that are generally the case in death penalty cases. Residents in the state of Colorado overwhelmingly favored the death penalty in this case with 63 percent of those polled in favor and 32 percent favoring prison.
Holmes will be formally sentenced later this month.