Prosecutors in Arapahoe County, Colorado said in a hearing on Monday that they would seek the death penalty against mass shooting suspect James Holmes, ABC News reported.
“For James Eagan Holmes, justice is death,” District Attorney George Brauchler said, after telling the court he had spoken to more than 800 victims and family members connected to the case.
Brauchler’s statement came four days after prosecutors rejected a deal that would have sent Holmes to prison for life without parole in exchange for a guilty plea.
The 25-year-old suspect is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 others in a July 2012 attack at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater.
NBC News reported that Brauchler accused Holmes’ attorneys, Tamara Brady and Daniel King, in a March 2013 filing of trying to manufacture sympathy for him, concluding that “the defendant knows he is guilty, the defense attorneys know he is guilty and that both of them know that he was not criminally insane.”
Brauchler also mounted a defense of the death penalty itself in a March 31 column for the Denver Post.
“Without the potential for a death sentence, there is no incentive for a murderer on the run not to kill again in order to avoid being caught — even if that murder is of a police officer or 10 police officers,” he said in the column. “There would be no incentive for a defendant awaiting his murder trial not to try to kill a key witness, the judge, or perhaps the prosecutor on his case. There would be no disincentive for inmates serving life sentence from killing each other or prison guards, because the result of such evil would be … the loss of cable TV? Less Jell-o at dinner? No more shooting hoops outside? This is not justice, and it makes our community less safe.”
[Image via Agence France-Presse]