James Holmes was found guilty of murder Thursday in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting from 2012, and may face the death penalty as sentencing begins as early as next week.
Holmes was found guilty Thursday of murdering 12 people in the 2012 massacre and wounding 70 others. The sentencing phase will take one month, with an entire new trial, complete with opening statements and testimony.
Holmes' family is expected to testify but Holmes himself said Wednesday that he will not testify.
The 27-year-old admitted to the killings, but said that he was not guilty because of insanity. His attorneys were pushing for him to be committed to a mental hospital for the rest of his life while state prosecutors were seeking the death penalty.
In Colorado, there are 4 stages the jury must consider when contemplating the death penalty:
1. Aggravating factors: This considers the use of weapons. Holmes did use weapons in the killings.
2. Mitigating factors: This considers the character of the defendant, including school records and mental state.
3. Whether or not the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating factors: If they do, the jury will go on to the 4th phase.
4. Morality: In this last phase, jurors ask themselves, “Morally, can I be responsible for this defendant’s death?” If all 12 say "yes," Holmes could be sentenced to death.
Before the court goes to the sentencing phase, it will have three days off, beginning tomorrow.
Monday, July 20, will mark three years since the shooting.