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Plea deal makes sense for Holmes

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By Greg Romberg

It’s time to make a deal with James Holmes.

As we approach the year and a half anniversary of the tragedy of the Aurora theater shootings and as the pretrial hearings continue (and continue and continue!), it looks less and less likely that Holmes will ever be executed. It would be in the public interest to get some kind of plea in place that assures Holmes will spend the rest of his life in custody, to achieve final resolution and to put this ordeal to bed once and for all.

While the decision to seek the death penalty for Holmes belongs solely to the 18th Judicial District’s district attorney, the dueling motions on all aspects of the case and the continuing questions about Holmes’ mental competency seem to suggest that there is little likelihood Holmes will ever be sentenced to death, let alone that the sentence would ever be carried out.

And in the meantime, taxpayers are left to pick up the cost of both prosecuting and defending Holmes and are subjected to the sickening reminder of this terrible event every time a court hearing either approaches or takes place — as we continue to see the pathetic image of Holmes sitting at the defense table with a blank stare on his face.

I am not against the death penalty, but the fact that Colorado has executed only one person since 1967, that Holmes mental state makes it so unlikely that he will be either sentenced to death or executed, that we continue to spend excessive public dollars to both prosecute and defend him and the fact that we can conclude this episode in a way that ensures James Holmes will never again pose a threat to anyone makes me conclude that a deal should be struck with Holmes.

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On a much happier note, don’t forget that Dec. 10 is the fourth annual Colorado Gives Day. Colorado Gives, which is the brainchild of the Community First Foundation and is supported by FirstBank, is a convenient and efficient way to make your end-of-the-year charitable donations. Your contributions are enhanced, as administrative costs are covered and matching funds are available. Hundreds of Colorado charities participate, and you can get information about each organization and identify needy groups by location or emphasis area on the Colorado Gives website. Visit www.coloradogives.org to both learn more and to make your contributions.

 

Greg Romberg is president of Romberg and Associates, a government relations and public affairs firm. He lives in Evergreen with his wife, Laurie, and three daughters.