On Friday, USA Today publicized that James Holmes received a castigation of life in prison without parole instead of the greatly warranted death penalty. Holmes was found guilty of first-degree murder after killing 12 individuals inside of the Century Aurora 16 theater on July 20, 2012. Following an arduous four-month trial, he was found guilty of an alarming total of 165 felony counts.
Holmes not only murdered a dozen people in their seats at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, but he opened fire on the audience of over 400 with a shotgun, assault rifle and an automatic pistol injuring 70 more innocent lives.
It is imperative that we take responsibility for protecting Americans by dealing the deserved punishment, which in this case, was indisputably a sentencing to death row.
It is appalling that after committing such heinous crimes against humanity, Holmes was shown undeserving leniency by the jurors.
Simply put, he deserved to die for the crimes he committed.
The death penalty was purposed for convicts who commit monstrous crimes, as did James Holmes. Further, it is inexcusable that the jury of nine women and three men said they could not reach an undisputed ruling and settled on a mere prison sentence instead.
An unidentified juror spoke to the New York Times following the reading of the verdict and said, “There was one firm holdout against the death penalty and two…who were on the fence.” "I don't know if they could have been swayed or not."
This decision ultimately spectacles to the American people and countries around the globe that our country does not have the boldness and impudence to deal with such paramount matters with the proper justice they warrant.
In a Gallup poll on politics and capital punishment, researchers posted the question, “Are you in favor of the death penalty for a person convicted of murder?” The polling found that 80 percent of Republicans favored the death penalty, while 65% of independents and only 58% of Democrats supported capital punishment.
Cleary, as demonstrated by the statistics above, the death penalty is not the most favorable choice for many people, especially democrats and independents. Although these trends have continuously been identified across party lines, this should not be an issue based on a party's split difference or their straddle on some ideological midpoint. Capital punishment should be a ubiquitous decision that is based on upholding our laws to prevail justice. This decision made by the jury ultimately displays the fallibility of our government's institutions.
Although he respected the outcome, the district attorney who pursued the death penalty against Holmes said, "I still think death is justice for what that guy did but the system said otherwise.”
How much more severe of a crime must be committed for us to realize that it is not enough to gives these treacherous criminals life in prison without parole?
With mass shootings and odious crimes being recently and historically executed across our country, it is crucial that we instill the expectation in the minds of Americans that these criminals will be brought to justice in the way that correlates with the severity of the crimes they commit. In wake of the recent events we have unfortunately been witnesses to, this will require a dramatic paradigm shift in our culture.
Lauren Konkol is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.