James Holmes, the gunman behind the 2012 shooting in Aurora, Colorado was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without parole.
The gunman was found guilty of all 165 charges he faced in connection to the shooting committed during a packed Midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, in which twelve people were fatally shot. The jury unanimously denied Holmes’ attorneys plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, Washington Post reports.
In July, the jury pushed for life imprisonment, rather than the death sentence, previously discussed. District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. spoke to the jurors, stating if that they could not reach an unanimous decision, he would be required to sentence James Holmes to life in prison. Samour aimed to make sure the gunman would “never set foot in free society again.”
During the sentencing, Samour first announced that Holmes would be sentence to life in prison, without parole then added a life sentence for every life lost in the shooting. An additional 3,318 years were added on for the remaining charges. Samour said, “If there was ever a case that warranted the maximum sentences, this was it.”
Holmes was spared from the death penalty after one juror refused to sentence him to death.
James Holmes planned the July 20th attacks with the intent of mass murder, prosecutors argued. Attorneys claim that the event occured due to the fact that Holmes was “in the throes of a psychotic episode,” and was removed from reality when the attack took place.
Colorado has only sentenced 22 people to death, over the last 4o years, records show. A Quinnipiac University Poll released last month revealed that Colorado residents favored a death sentence for James Holmes nearly two-to-one.
The parents of James Holmes begged them to keep him alive when the trial began, urging to view him as a man suffering from mental illness, rather than a murderer.<