Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a former doctoral student accused of opening fire on a crowded movie theatre in Aurora, Colo., the Denver Post reports.
Lawyers for 25-year-old defendant James Holmes told a court late last month he’d plead guilty in order to avoid the death penalty.
“If the prosecution elects not to pursue the death penalty, it is Mr. Holmes’ position that this case could be resolved April 1,” defence lawyers wrote in a brief to the court.
Prosecutors were livid that Holmes’ lawyers made the offer public and suggested it was just a ploy to get the public on their side.
Indeed, victims of the shooting — which killed a dozen people and injured a number of others — might not want the drawn-out case that could ensue if a plea deal isn’t reached.
Pierce O’Farrill, who got shot three times, pointed out in an AP interview that the case could drag on for years.
“It could be 10 or 15 years before he’s executed. I would be in my 40s and I’m planning to have a family, and the thought of having to look back and reliving everything at that point in my life, it would be difficult,” he told the AP.
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