Families asked on US gunman death penalty:Mon Jul 23, 2012 08:1184.108.40.206Families asked on US gunman death penalty: prosecutor
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 00:28
Written by Abdul Ahad
CENTENNIAL: Prosecutors said Monday they would formally charge Colorado cinema shooting suspect James Holmes next week, but will consult with victims' families on whether to seek the death penalty.
Arapahoe county district attorney Carol Chambers, speaking shortly after the 24-year-old's first appearance in court, said the charges could include first degree murder but would not normally include terrorism.
She said that the decision whether or not to seek the death penalty had to involve victims' families. The first charges will be filed in court next Monday, but amended charges could be laid at later dates.
"That's a very long process that impacts their lives for years ..so we will want to get their input before we make any decision on that," she said of the death penalty decision.
Holmes is accused of shooting dead 12 people and wounding 58 others at a cinema Friday in Aurora, outside Denver, as young moviegoers packed the midnight screening of the latest Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises."
Asked about terrorism charges, the prosecutor said: "That would not normally be something that we would consider in state prosecutions."
And she underlined the importance of treating Holmes fairly.
"It is important that we treat him as we would treat any other defendant coming into the criminal justice system," she told reporters outside the court.
Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012
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