Since last week’s announcement that a lone juror held out and refused to sentence the Aurora Theater Shooter to death, despite the rest of the jury pushing for the death penalty, the left has been working overtime to characterize this outcome as a failure of District Attorney George Brauchler. See, there are some urging Brauchler to throw his hat into the ring in the 2016 U.S. Senate race.
Left-wing activists claim that Brauchler should never have wasted taxpayer dollars on pursuing the death penalty (now they care about wasting taxpayer dollars?) when the scum of the earth shooter had admitted his guilt. Unfortunately for Brauchler, he would have been damned by the left no matter what course of action he took. Let’s walk through the three scenarios and how the left would have attacked.
- Brauchler did not pursue the death penalty and accepted the shooter’s guilty plea: The left could have said that Brauchler was not listening to victims’ families, some of whom said that they needed the death penalty as a means of justice for their loved ones. How do you say, “I’m sorry, I know you said that you wanted us to pursue the maximum sentence here, but there are these left wingers who are just beating me up on this, so we’re going to just stand down. I mean, it’s politically inconvenient for me, so, sorry.” That would have been unfair to the families who, rightfully, wanted the maximum punishment.
- Brauchler pursued the death penalty and jury said no: We’ve already seen their complaints, and, again, we assert that Brauchler had a moral and ethical responsibility to pursue the maximum sentence if even one family said it was important to them that shooter receive it. Anyone suggesting otherwise is callous and cruel.
- Brauchler pursued the death penalty and jury said yes: The left would be outraged because “Brauchler” (apparently, not the jury) had sentenced a mentally ill man to death. Then, the death penalty would the topic du jour in Colorado for the next year, there would be (and probably still will be) attempts to remove death penalty as an option in Colorado. But, no matter, Brauchler sentenced a mentally ill man to death.
Sometimes being in charge means making tough calls. This was probably the most difficult call of his career, and maybe his life. It was the right call. The jury might have delivered a different outcome than he or some of the victims’ families would have preferred, but not pursuing the death penalty was not a realistic option, despite the left’s ranting.
There was no way for Brauchler to win politically in this situation, but he acted as an advocate for the victims, and that’s about as good as it gets with such a terrible situation.