July 12 Denver Shooting Trial: Jury Selected, Opening Arguments Begin April 27
This month, a team of jurors will sit to hear the arguments presented in the trial of accused theater shooting suspect James Holmes.
A former neuroscience graduate student, Holmes could be sentenced to death penalty if convicted.
According to ABC News, Holmes is responsible for killing 12 people and injuring 70 in a mass shooting incident in July 12 in suburban Denver. Although his lawyers do not deny that he pulled the trigger, their argument brings to light Holmes’ alleged psychotic episode when he sneaked inside the theater and opened fire.
Holmes’ legal insanity will be put to question when attorneys present their arguments starting April 27. If he is found guilty, jurors will decide whether to give him the death penalty or sentence him to life imprisonment without parole.
“You have to keep an open mind throughout the trial, remembering that Mr. Holmes is presumed innocent,” Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. told the jury, according to USA Today.
“Folks, we are depending on you to uphold the oath you have taken,” he said.
Out of 7,000 prospective jurors that were considered for the trial, 12 jurors and 12 alternatives – 19 women and five men – were shortlisted in a process that began on January 20.
The alternatives were selected seeing the possibility that certain jurors may have a hard time sitting through the length of the trial.
On Tuesday, a juror was let go when her impartiality was questioned. The judge relieved another juror seeing that her husband was in the pool.
Jurors were questioned on Tuesday about their knowledge and interpretations about the law and whether they would be able to render their services to such a lengthy and high profile case.
District Attorney George Brauchler said that it was a “four- to five-month roller coaster through the worst haunted house you can imagine.”
Holmes’ attorney, Tamara Brady, emphasized on the importance of objectivity in the case.
“I want to start off by telling you how nervous I am about whether Mr. Holmes can get a fair trial in this case or whether it’s just too big,” she said.
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