Life in prison, no parole…developing…
Three years ago, James Holmes walked into the midnight showing of a new Batman movie, pulled out a gun, and opened fire into the crowd. He killed 12 people, injured 70 others, and referred to his victims as “collateral damage.”
In the aftermath, the media scurried for explanations, blaming everything from the tea party to mental illness for such a senseless and upsetting act of violence. Still, justice prevailed, and a jury found Holmes guilty of 24 counts of first-degree murder and 140 counts of attempted murder.
Today, that same jury will decide whether or not Holmes should face the death penalty for his actions. A decision is expected at 7 p.m. ET, and we’ll cover it live here (hopefully with an embedded livestream.)
More from NBC News:
For the final decision, the jury deliberated for less than seven hours, starting on Thursday afternoon and continuing through Friday.
If the jury decides against the death penalty, Holmes will get life in prison without parole.
Twelve people were killed and 70 were injured in the attack.
During the trial’s penalty phase, Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler told the jury that Holmes deserved to die. “For James Egan Holmes, justice is death,” he said.
Defense attorneys argued that Holmes suffered from schizophrenia and he was legally insane when he carried out the attack. The jury rejected that defense in finding Holmes guilty.
In the penalty phase, Holmes’ lawyers said it would be inhumane to execute a man who suffered from mental illness.
We have a live stream:
The jury is seated, and we’re just waiting for the verdict to be read.
THE VERDICT IS IN: THE JURY IS NOT UNANIMOUS ON THE DEATH PENALTY FOR COUNT 1
The judge is still reading through all the counts, and so far, the jury has not reached a unanimous final sentencing verdict on any of the counts. This means that the court will impose a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
You can hear the cries of the family members in the gallery. It’s going to be a wild media cycle for these jurors.
— San Diego 6 – XETV (@SanDiego6) August 7, 2015
Jason Sickles, a Yahoo! News reporter who has covered this case from the beginning, notes the shock in the room—especially on the prosecution side:
District Attorney George Brauchler looks defeated. Everything in this trial had gone the way of the prosecution until this hour.
Will be interesting to see if prosecutors poll the jurors. I imagine they will.
This is a shocking verdict by any standards, but especially so considering the amount of physical, visual evidence the prosecutor was able to present to the jury. The panel was shown video of the aftermath.
Colorado theater shooter will get life in prison.
Jury could not agree on death penalty. pic.twitter.com/Pbawugp70e
— Justice Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) August 7, 2015
The sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 24-26.
The live stream appears to have converted to a playable video, but just in case, here’s a video containing the reading of the verdict:DONATE
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