Jury decision points to death penalty for Colorado cinema shooter James Holmes

Jurors moved a step closer toward sentencing James Holmes to death for his Colorado cinema attack, taking less than three hours to reject arguments that his mental illness means he should not die.

The decision clears the way for one last attempt from both sides to sway the jury, with testimony from victims about their suffering and more appeals for mercy for the man convicted of murdering 12 people and trying to kill 70 more during the 2012 assault at a Batman film.

Holmes, his reactions dulled by anti-psychotic drugs, appeared emotionless as Judge Carlos Samour read the decisions.

Robert and Arlene Holmes held hands, their fingers interlaced, and directed their eyes at the floor.

With each unanimous “yes”, it became ever more clear that jurors believe their son’s crimes outweighed their testimony.

She began to cry, and her husband held out a box of tissues.

The jury swiftly rejected Holmes’ insanity defence, deciding that he was capable of telling right from wrong when he carried out the attack in the Denver suburb of Aurora on July 20, 2012.

Their quick decision raised expectations that they will choose a death sentence after what prosecutors estimate will be two or three more days of testimony.


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