Ashley Beth – This week’s sentencing of James Eagan Holmes for the July 20, 2012 mass shooting during a local movie theatre’s premier screening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ was certainly an anticipated day in court.
Arapahoe County, Colorado District Attorney George Brauchler had indicated in April 2014, “It’s my determination and my intention that in this case for James Eagan Holmes justice is death.” However, on Aug. 7 the court ruled to sentence Holmes to life in prison without parole.
Today, Judge Carlos Samour Jr. sentenced the shooter to the maximum 3,318 consecutive years in prison on top of 12 consecutive life sentences.
The original Aug. 7 sentencing was met with outcry from the families of the victims of the massacre. One of the twelve fatally wounded victims was six year old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, who was shot four times in the limbs, lower right side of her body and fatally shot in her chest. Her mother, Ashley Moser, was shot in the chest so critically she miscarried a week after the shooting and is now a quadriplegic. Her father, Robert Sullivan, was one of more than 18 testifiers during sentencing to describe the pain Holmes’ choices have impacted on their families’ lives.
The outcry is specifically in reference to the one juror who recommended life without parole in disagreement with the 11 other jurors who recommended the death penalty. Colorado law indicates that a full majority vote is needed by the jury to sentence the death penalty. Angry, Mr. Sullivan remarked that the juror who voted against the death penalty had been deceitful during the juror selection process and that perhaps she had an agenda to save Holmes from the death sentence from the very beginning.
The Honorable Carlos A. Samour Jr, presiding over the case, rebutted that he did believe any deception had been committed. He also indicated that the trial and juror selection process were all fair. “You can’t claim there was no justice because it wasn’t the outcome you expected,” Samour responded.
Today wrapped up day three of the final sentencing hearing where victim impact statements are being recounted. The wrenching statements will have no effect on the sentence.