On Friday, the parents of James Holmes, the Colorado theater shooter begged for their son’s life through a plea bargain. In an incident that dates back to 2012, James Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70 others.
This move has rekindled the long-running, emotional debate about whether the horrific details of the mass killing should be played out at the upcoming trial and whether Holmes should be executed if convicted of the crime.
The parents in their second public comments said, “He is a human being gripped by a severe mental illness. We have always loved him, and we do not want him to be executed”.
This particular statement again got mass shooting into the spotlight. It also highlights the concerns over theater safety in a time where it is already in question as hackers have prompted Sony to withhold the release of “The Interview” or they will cause violence against theaters.
This comments by Holmes’ parents annoyed some survivors of the attack and relatives of those who were killed. Marcus Weaver, who was shot in the arm and whose friend, Rebecca Wingo, died in the attack, stated that giving life imprisonment to a person who committed such a calculated, horrific crime is like giving him a slap on the wrist.
He added that the statement by the parents is a ploy by defense lawyers to manipulate the jury pool and generate “sympathy for a man who has done a horrific thing”. He also said that he would welcome an agreement that imprisons Holmes for life and don’t know how a possible death penalty would “bring peace to anybody, whether it’s justice or not”.