Yesterday was a difficult day no doubt for the victims and their families of the theater shooting, whose perpetrator received a life in prison sentence as opposed to the death penalty. While not all wanted the death penalty, the fact that the theater shooter is allowed to live after he ensured their loved ones could not is grossly unfair. Nonetheless, yesterday was about some measure of closure, if not justice, for the victims and their families. Well, except for one corner of the universe.
Democrats just couldn’t resist the disgusting temptation to politicize this verdict, crowing that it was a huge loss for the prosecutor District Attorney George Brauchler. Even self-proclaimed “hall monitor” Lynn Bartels found the attack gross:
Juror 17 spoke with the media about the jury deliberations over the death penalty. There was just one lone holdout on the jury and two undecideds. The remaining nine jurors were in favor of the death penalty. Juror 17, a lawyer herself, praised both legal teams:
“…I just want to say to Miss Brady’s team and Mr. Brauchler’s team that I thought both did an outstanding job. I know that both gave it their heart and soul. They cared deeply. The defense care deeply about their client…and the prosecution about all of the victims….”
Juror 17 was not the only one who praised Brauchler for his handling of the trial. State Sen. Chris Holbert, a resident of the 18th Judicial District, told The Denver Post:
“We should all be grateful to the jurors for their efforts to determine justice for our community. As a resident of the 18th Judicial District, I am proud of District Attorney Brauchler and Judge Samour for their professionalism and leadership during the trial.”
Colorado Attorney General also offered words of support for victims and for Brauchler:
“I want to thank members of the jury who served these many days to decide the guilt and now punishment of James Egan Holmes. Theirs was a profound responsibility marked by immeasurable sacrifice. James Holmes committed a horrific act on the evening of July 20th 2012. With regard only for himself and his desperate desire for notoriety, he took 12 innocent lives and wounded 70 others. On behalf of the citizens of Colorado, I would like to thank District Attorney George Brauchler and his team for their commitment to justice. As this matter continues through the judicial system, my office stands ready to assist. This evening, I am thinking about the victims of this awful tragedy and praying for their peace.”
Tom Teves, father of victim Alex Teves, “praised the prosecutors’ efforts to bring justice,” according to The Denver Post.
Those who criticize the decision to seek the death penalty need only look to the anguish of the families, some of whom, according to The Denver Post, believed that the death penalty was the only way for justice to prevail. Here are some of the comments from the victims’ families:
- Grandfather of six-year old theater victim Veronica Moser Sullivan said: “The gaping wound we have with the loss of our granddaughter has been replaced with an abscess of him living.”
- Mother of theater victim Jessica Ghawi said: “Our loved ones were ripped from us. They were slaughtered in that movie theater. The thought that this monster gets to have visitation with his parents and gets to receive mail and pictures of his very strange girlfriends is hard to accept.”
Just as one juror felt strongly enough to save the theater shooter from the death penalty, if just one victim’s family believed that justice would be served only through the death penalty, Brauchler had a moral responsibility to pursue it. It’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback on pursuing the death penalty, but it’s not easy to stand up for victims’ families in the wake of criticism.
But, to those who politicized this miscarriage of justice, you are vile. This wasn’t about you.