Colorado Theater Shooting Judge Calls for 5,000 Potential Jurors

Saturday, June 29, 2013
Judge Carlos Samour

Before the man accused of committing the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting can go on trial, a jury must be selected—and that is proving to be a huge task.

 

Judge Carlos Samour, who will preside over the case of accused shooter James Holmes, plans to call 5,000 potential jurors. By comparison, the ongoing trial of George Zimmerman in Florida for the killing of Trayvon Martin required a jury pool of only 500 and the current trial of mobster Whitey Bulger in Massachusetts started with a pool of 858 potential jurors.

 

Samour’s request would be make the jury pool the largest in state history and one of the largest ever in the country. Residents of Arapahoe County, where the trial will take place beginning next February, will have a 1-in-90 chance of being called.

 

The shooting at the Century Aurora 16 killed 12 and wounded 58 others on July 20, 2012. It generated enormous publicity, which could make it difficult to find unbiased jurors. In addition, jurors must support the death penalty and they must take seriously the defense contention that Holmes is insane. Also, jurors must be prepared for a trial that may last more than four months, during which time they may be sequestered.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky

 

To Learn More:

Aurora Theater Shooting Jury Pool would be among Largest ever Called in U.S. (by John Ingold, Denver Post)

Survivors of Aurora Theater Massacre Speak out against Charity Group Claiming to Help Them (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

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