James Holmes, the suspect in the killing of 12 persons last July at a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, may plead guilty to avoid the death penalty.
Lawyers for Holmes have offered in a court filling that they will enter such a plea without the necessity of a a trial if the state will waive the right to go for the death sentence against him following a guilty verdict.
If a guilty plea is accepted by the Arapahoe County District Attorney, Holmes would spend the rest of his life behind bars. “The deal hinges completely on the prosecution’s willingness to take the death penalty off the table.”
In a document filed with the court, lawyers for the accused gunman wrote that “Mr. Holmes is currently willing to resolve the case to bring the proceedings to a speedy and definite conclusion.” The defense team has not ruled out putting forth an insanity defense if the case goes forward into the trial phase, however.
In a court hearing on March 12, his lawyers declined to enter a plea so the judge entered a not-guilty plea on Holmes’ behalf so that the case could continue to move forward. Holmes is charged with a total 166 counts of murder and attempted murder and other charges in the theater mass shooting incident which also left at least 58 persons wounded. Holmes could wind up on death row if found guilty of murder by a jury and provided authorities seek the death penalty.
Prosecutors in the case have not formally announced as yet whether they will pursue the death penalty against Holmes. That decision is due to be made public on Monday, April 1, the next court hearing date in the Holmes case. Reportedly the prosecution is discussing the possible plea deal with with the victims of the attack: “Prosecutors are understood to be talking with victims and their families to get their opinion on the death penalty.”
As recently reported by The Inquisitr, James Holmes has supposedly converted to Islam while in jail.
A guilty plea would mean that no victim would have to go through the emotionally painful ordeal of testifying at trial about what happened that night at the Cinemark theater. It would also save millions of dollars in trial expenses for the taxpayers. That being said, do you think that a life sentence provides justice for the victims of this horrible crime?