James Holmes, the 26-year-old who police say went on a shooting rampage during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, is requesting a change of venue for his upcoming trial.
His legal team argues that if Holmes is tried in Arapahoe County, scheduled for October, he’ll be unfairly viewed by potential jury members. They’re asking for a more neutral location.
Um…well here’s the thing:
12 people died and many more were injured in that Aurora, Colorado movie theater. The tragedy made headlines around the world. So…good luck in getting an impartial jury. We don’t know of any area in the U.S. that looks too kindly on mass murderers.
Holmes’ attorneys are hoping to convince a jury that he is mentally ill rather than a coldblooded killer, which is the more common depiction of him, especially in and around Aurora.
The defense team recently presented the judge in Holmes’ case with an expert analysis of both print and broadcast news coverage from local media outlets. They also included graphic comments posted by users on local news websites. All this to exemplify just how biased the community has become.
One of Holmes’ lawyers wrote:
"Unfortunately, the effects of this case have festered within a community surrounded by unremitting prejudicial news coverage. As a result, prejudgement abounds, including the vilification of James Holmes as evil rather than a severely mentally ill young man.”
The judge is expected to rule on the motion within the next two months. Should Holmes be found guilty, he faces the death penalty and could be the first person executed by the state since 1997.
[Image via Pacific Coast News.]
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