Convicted Aurora theatre shooter James Holmes was sentenced to 12 consecutive life sentences and an additional 3,318 years by Judge Carlos Samour Jr on 26 August, ending a case that began over three years ago. "If ever there was a case that warranted the maximum sentences then this is the case," Samour said after reading the sentences.
According to the Denver Post, Samour spoke nearly an hour about the justice system before announcing the sentencing on the 165 counts Holmes faced. "Get the defendant out of my courtroom, please," the judge said after declaring Holmes punishment.
The judge's final statement requesting Holmes be escorted out of the courtroom was "the right exclamation point at the end of this case," prosecutor George Brauchler told reporters during a press conference after the trial ended. Brauchler said he believed that the sentencing was the biggest in Colorado and the fourth longest in US history.
"It is almost impossible to comprehend how a human being is capable of such acts," Samour said. Holmes was convicted of killing 12 people and injuring dozens during a premiere of The Dark Knight Rises on 20 July 2012.
During the sentencing, Samour said the case was not completely about mental illness and evidence revealed Holmes was angry, upset about his breakup with his girlfriend and struggling in school.
"Eventually, the defendant quit on life," the judge said. "Had he just quit on life, it would have affected him and him alone. Perhaps his parents. Perhaps his family ... and that would have been the end of it. But he didn't just quit. He decided since he was quitting, he was going to take people with him."
Samour added: "In the end what the defendant did is unacceptable." According to the Denver Post, Holmes's defence attorney announced on 25 August that he would not appeal the conviction or the sentence.
"The truth is, either way you look at it, the defendant is going to die in the custody of the department of corrections," Samour said. However, it remains to be determined where exactly Holmes will serve out his multiple life sentences.
Holmes was sentenced to the maximum penalty for his crimes. According to Fox News, he was also sentenced to consecutive terms of 48 years for each of the 67 attempted first-degree murder charges, 32 years for each of the two second-degree murder charges and six years for possession of explosive or incendiary devices.
Apart from his sentencing, over $796,000 (£514,228) compensation is being sought for medical payments for the victims.