Families of victims of the Colorado Theater shooting only need one juror for James Holmes to be handed down the death penalty, news said. For death penalty to be issued, a unanimous decision is required; otherwise, a verdict of life imprisonment without parole will be given.
Of the 12 jurors to the punishment trial of Holmes, one opposed the death penalty and two were reportedly “on the fence.” To escape the death sentence, the convict only needs one vote from the jurors. The juror who withheld the vote for the death sentence did not give any reasons for opposing.
“We did our best to come to a unanimous verdict, of course, and it was not possible,” a juror was quoted by Washington Post. “We each used our individual moral, reason judgment, and that’s what we were instructed to do and that what we did and our conclusions were just different,” the juror added.
Last month, the 12 jurors—composed of three men and nine women—found James Holmes guilty of 165 counts of charges in relation to the theater massacre in 2012. During arraignment, he pleaded not guilty and his defense counsel presented his mental illness [schizophrenia] as reason behind the killing and possibly, as an escape from death penalty.
All jurors believed Holmes is suffering from a mental illness, but remained unconvinced that his mental state should be enough to spare his life.