NBC News is reporting that Judge Samour, the judge who presided over the James Holmes murder trial (AKA: the Aurora theater shootings) defended the outcome (life without parole) against criticism by the mother of one of the shooting victims. She said the result showed more concern for Holmes than his victims. He said,
“You can’t claim there was no justice because it wasn’t the outcome you expected,” Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. said in an unusual speech from the bench during Holmes’ formal sentencing hearing for the 2012 attack.
Samour said the jury was fair and impartial and that he tried his utmost to be the same.
“And that’s how you know it was justice,” he said.
Holmes killed twelve and wounded 70 people. He was schizophrenic and delusional when he committed the crimes. Experts testified that he would not have committed the crimes if he were not mentally ill.
I agree with Judge Samour.
Prior to trial, the defense offered to plead guilty to a life-without-parole sentence, but the prosecutor rejected the offer. I have have criticized that decision harshly as a catastrophic waste of time and money because juries are reluctant to sentence the mentally ill to death. The result was predictable. I feel bad for the victims and their families, but this trial and its attendant emotional roller coaster did not need to happen.