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Tipsheet

Aurora Shooting Trial Allows Death Penalty as Possible Punishment

The jury in James Holmes’ trial took a step toward giving him the death penalty today, determining that none of the factors in Holmes’ personal life outweighed the evil of his crimes. Two weeks ago, the jury convicted him on all 24 counts of first-degree murder, as well as 141 other counts.

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This moves the sentencing trial into its third stage, during which time family members will be able to speak directly to Holmes and tell them how the attack has affected their lives. At the end of that stage, each of the jury members will decide whether to give Holmes the death penalty. They must vote unanimously in order to give him the death penalty.

The judge read through each count of first-degree murder today, reading the question: "Does the jury unanimously find beyond a reasonable doubt that the mitigating factors that exist do not outweigh the aggravating factors proven by the prosecution in phase one of the sentencing hearing?"

Each question preceded the same answer: "Yes."

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