If theater shooter gets death, execution could take decades
DENVER (AP) — Even if Colorado theater shooter James Holmes is sentenced to death, he could spend the rest of his life in prison awaiting an execution that never happens.
Colorado has executed just one prisoner in nearly a half-century, and just three people are on death row. The state’s Democratic governor gave one of them an indefinite reprieve, 20 years after his conviction and just months before he was set to die.
The same jurors who convicted Holmes of killing 12 people and injuring 70 more at a crowded midnight movie premiere must soon decide whether he should pay with his life. But lengthy appeals and Colorado’s uneasy relationship with the death penalty means death row inmates spend decades in prison before they are executed.
Holmes’ mental illness means his appeals could be even more complex.
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