At least 100 people may speak at theater shooter sentencing
CENTENNIAL, Colorado (AP) — At least 100 victims and witnesses of James Holmes’ deadly attack on a Colorado movie theater are expected to testify about the crime’s impact on their lives during a formal sentencing hearing starting Monday.
The three-day hearing gives survivors a chance to share their stories, but it won’t change Holmes’ sentence. Jurors already determined that Holmes will spend the rest of his life in prison without parole for the July 20, 2012, attack that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.
The judge will formally sentence Holmes to life on 24 counts of first-degree murder, two for each of those killed. This week’s testimony will help him determine Holmes’ sentences on 141 other counts that include attempted murder and an explosives charge.
Holmes will also have an opportunity to speak, though he declined to do so during his trial.
Colorado prisons have an extensive mental health care system, and Holmes, who has been diagnosed with varying forms of schizophrenia, could wind up in the department’s mental hospital.
After the trial, prosecutors said Holmes’ fate ultimately came down to a single juror, who said she could not morally impose a death sentence after hearing testimony about Holmes’ mental illness
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