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April 1, 2013

"James Holmes' Victims Applaud Death Penalty Plan: 'I Want Him Dead'"

The title of this post is the notable headline of this ABC News report on the (not-very-surprising) decision today by Colorado prosecutors to seek the death penalty for mass murderer James Holmes. Here are excerpts:

Friends of Aurora shooting victims applauded prosecutors' decision today to seek the death penalty for James Holmes, with one friend saying he wanted to be in the room if Holmes is executed.

"I don't know if it's painful. I want him dead. I just want to be there in the room when he dies," Bryan Beard said outside the Colorado courthouse. "He took one of my friends from this Earth. Death equals death." Beard's close friend Alex Sullivan was one of the 12 people killed in the shooting on July 20 last year. It was Sullivan's 27th birthday.

Prosecutors from the Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office said at a hearing today in Aurora, Colo., that they will seek execution for Holmes if he is convicted. "For James Eagan Holmes, justice is death," District Attorney George Brauchler said in court.

A couple of victims' relatives cried. Holmes' parents were also in court. He looked at them when he came in. After the announcement, Holmes' father nodded his head and put his arm around his wife.

Brauchler said his office has reached out to 800 victims and that he had personally spoken with relatives of 60 victims who died and were injured. Brauchler said he didn't speak to anyone about the decision.

"They are trying to execute our client and we will do what we need to do to save his life," public defender Tammy Brady said in a voice shaking with anger. "We are asking the court not to rush this."

Judge Carlos Samour, the case's new judge, set the trial date for Feb. 3, 2014, but the date could change if the defense finds it is not ready early next year. "I want to be aggressive in moving this case along, and at the same time I want to make sure it's done right," Samour said.

The decision follows several days of wrangling between the defense and prosecution over Holmes' offer to plead guilty in a bid to avoid the death penalty. Despite the announcement, experts predict a long road ahead for Holmes, 25, and the case....

Family members are divided on whether Holmes should get death, according to investigative sources. Some are philosophically opposed to the death penalty, others support it and still another group wants death for Holmes, but they don't want to endure a trial.

Recent and older related posts (with lots of comments):

April 1, 2013 at 05:30 PM | Permalink


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As usual, the subset of people who manage to read into the article find out the headline is misleading. Family members are "divided." Not surprising. Anyway, as Bill Otis has noted, prosecutors have to take all their concerns in mind respectfully, but the ultimate decision has to be decided on other grounds.

Posted by: Joe | Apr 1, 2013 6:48:31 PM

I've always found it bizarre in the media reporting on cases like this that they seem to be spearheading the push for the imposition of the death penalty, when the reality is always buried below the fold (i.e., that family members of the victims are divided).

Posted by: Guy | Apr 2, 2013 1:29:10 PM

You must kill him in a theatre to a packed house. Get the crowd drunk next door at the saloon first. When he is dead, parade the body on an open flatbed pickup, American brand, around the streets of Aurora. Cremete the body and throw the ashes in the cesspool. Then hold a church service for all the kids in Aurora and teach them the lessons of the whole chain of events. Have the preacher up there preaching that Thou Shalt Not Kill. Hmm. Thou? Does that have an exception for Y'all Can? How bout Oil Can Boyd?

Posted by: Liberty1st | Apr 3, 2013 9:58:42 AM

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