James Holmes is a cold blooded killer. A merciless psychopath, he viciously and purposely took the lives of 12 innocent victims, and injured 58 others at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado on July 20, 2012. Showing calculated premeditation, he purchased his ticket online on July 8, 12 days before the mass shooting. His calm, eerie demeanor following the crime, his obvious planning, and his lack of any measurable remorse make him a perfect candidate for the death penalty. When someone commits an act so heinous, the death penalty is the only option and the only justifiable payment for such a terrible act.
Holmes took what cannot be replaced, and on that infamous night in July, Holmes strolled into theatre 9 wearing full body armor, like a soldier ready for battle. When Aurora police arrived at the scene, they recovered 209 live AR-15 rounds and 15 live .40 caliber handgun rounds. More mind blowing than this is the fact that he fired 33 bullets into each of the 12 people who died. Simple mathematics show that this adds up to 396 bullets embedded in the bodies recovered at the scene. This isn't counting other stray bullets or bullets recovered from the wounded. He shot to kill with direct intent. This was no haphazard killing spree, this was the design of a man who knew what he was doing, carefully planned it out, and executed it without hesitation. James Holmes brought death to a movie theater, and he should receive no less in punishment.
Undoubtedly, James Holmes was a troubled man, with documented mental illness. He had been seeing a university psychiatrist and actually tried to call the psychiatrist moments before the shooting. A former neuroscience major at the University of Colorado in Aurora, Holmes had dropped out of his university program. He was obviously teetering on the brink of serious mental health issues that most certainly contributed to his rampage. But this is not an excuse for his actions.
One could easily argue that James Holmes is legally insane and not deserving of the death penalty. However, other facts indicate that this was a man who knew what he was doing. After committing the crime, he told police officers that his apartment was "booby trapped" with explosives, enough to destroy his apartment complex. This again shows planning and perverse motivation, regardless of his mental state. Additionally, the detached demeanor officers encountered upon making the arrest is no different than what Holmes has showcased in the courtroom.
Colorado reinstated the death penalty in 1975. If there ever was a case where a death penalty verdict should be used, this is it. Those who commit capital murder often receive the death penalty, and Holmes is charged with 166 counts of murder and attempted murder. You do the math.
For further confirmation, one needs only to look at the victims. His youngest victim was only 6-years -old; her name was Veronica. Veronica's mother, Ashley Moser, was pregnant at the time and shot in the belly. Ashley was severely injured in the attack, but by the grace of God, her unborn child survived. All told, eight women and three men were massacred. One victim was an aspiring sports reporter named Jessica Ghawi, aged 24, who survived a Toronto shooting one month prior to this event. The bitter irony sends cold shivers down the spine. The victims, though some silent in death, can speak through pictures, and the living can speak through testimony. James Holmes was a man on a mission to slaughter, and the only justice for the victims would be for him to pay with his life. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.