Jurors weigh life or death for Colorado movie gunman Holmes

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Jurors Weigh Life Or Death For Colorado Movie Gunman Holmes

Jurors deliberating on whether gunman James Holmes should be executed for the Colorado cinema massacre asked on Friday to see video of the body-strewn theater recorded after he killed 12 people and wounded 70 inside a packed midnight screening of a Batman film.

The panel already convicted the 27-year-old former neuroscience graduate student last month on all charges from the July 2012 mass shooting in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

The nine women and three men must now decide if he will be executed, or serve life with no chance of parole. They must be unanimous that death is appropriate, otherwise Holmes will get an automatic life sentence.

Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour granted the panel's request for a television and DVD player so they could watch a 45-minute crime scene video from the theater that was played during the trial.

Photos from the trial:

4 PHOTOS
James Holmes 'Dark Knight' Colo. theater shooting trial, Aurora, Colorado
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Jurors weigh life or death for Colorado movie gunman Holmes
CENTENNIAL, CO - APRIL 27: Family members of Aurora Theater shooting victim Veronica Moser walk into the Arapahoe County Justice Center as opening arguments for the trial of Aurora Theater Shooting defendant James Holmes opened at the courthouse April 27, 2015 in Centennial, Colorado. Holmes faces multiple murder charges stemming from a mass shooting in July 2012 theater shooting that killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
CENTENNIAL, CO - APRIL 27: Members of the media film people walking into the Arapahoe County Justice Center as opening arguments for the trial of Aurora Theater Shooting defendant James Holmes opened at the courthouse April 27, 2015 in Centennial, Colorado. Holmes faces multiple murder charges stemming from a mass shooting in July 2012 theater shooting that killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
CENTENNIAL, CO - APRIL 27: Producers at Denver Post TV listen and take notes from the courtroom live feed of proceedings as opening arguments for the trial of Aurora Theater Shooting defendant James Holmes opened at the Arapahoe County Justice Center April 27, 2015 in Centennial, Colorado. Holmes faces multiple murder charges stemming from a mass shooting in July 2012 theater shooting that killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others. Holmes is seated at the very far left of the television screen. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
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Samour granted the request over the objections of the defense, but told the jury they could only view the video once.

The proceedings against Holmes began in late April and reached penalty phase closing arguments on Thursday after 60 days of trial, 306 witnesses, and the introduction of nearly 2,700 pieces of evidence.

In his speech to the jury, District Attorney George Brauchler said justice for Holmes meant execution for the "horror and evil" he wrought inside the crowded cinema.

During the trial, dozens of wounded survivors testified about how they had tried to hide from the gunman's hail of bullets, some of them steel-penetrating rounds, or stumbled over the bodies of loved ones as they tried to flee.

Defense lawyer Tamara Brady asked jurors whether they were ready to sign the death warrant of a mentally ill person and said they would have to live with the decision for the rest of their lives.

While the jury has already rejected Holmes' plea of insanity, Brady said all the doctors the panel had heard from in court had agreed that he was seriously mentally ill.

Holmes has remained mostly expressionless throughout the trial, occasionally turning to look when a photograph of himself appears on a court television. The defense says he suffers schizophrenia, and that his "aloof or distracted" demeanor is caused by anti-psychosis drugs that treat, but do not cure, the disease.

Photos from before the trial:

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James Holmes Aurora 'Dark Knight' shooting & pre-trial
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Jurors weigh life or death for Colorado movie gunman Holmes
Crime scene tape surrounds the Century 16 movie theater where 12 people were killed in a shooting rampage last Friday, on July 23, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Suspect James Holmes, 24, allegedly went on a shooting spree and killed 12 people and injured 58 during an early morning screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Aurora police top brass commander Jack Daluz (R), Roger Cloyd (C) and division chief Kevin Flynn visit the makeshift memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theater on July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58 others on July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Seen from the air, blood-stained footprints dot the back of the Century 16 movie theatre where suspect James Holmes went on a shooting rampage during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured including 9 in critical condition . Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - JULY 21: Seen from the air, police continue to investigate outside the Century 16 movie theatre where suspect James Holmes went on a shooting rampage during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured including 9 in critical condition . Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - JULY 21: Law enforcement officials tow nearby cars as they prepare to disarm the booby-trapped apartment of suspect James Holmes after he went on a shooting rampage at nearby Century 16 movie theatre during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured. Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody and are now dealing with various devices and trip wires in the apartment. (Photo by Chris Schneider/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officials carry buckets from the apartment of James Holmes, the suspect in the Century 16 movie theatre shooting, on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured including 9 in critical condition. Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Chris Schneider/Getty Images)
Police break the window of the apartment of of James Holmes, the suspect of a shooting in a movie theater July 20, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and 59 wounded when James allegedly opened fire inside the a movie theater showing the 'The Dark Knight Rises.' Police have James, 24, of Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - JULY 20: The Century 16 movie theatre is seen where a gunmen attacked movie goers during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured. Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officers prepare to disarm the booby-trapped apartment of suspect James Holmes after he went on a shooting rampage at nearby Century 16 movie theatre during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured. Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody and are now dealing with various devices and trip wires in the apartment. (Photo by Chris Schneider/Getty Images)
Arlene (L) and Robert Holmes, the parents of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes, arrive at the court house after a midday recess during a hearing in the Arapahoe County Justice Center on April 1, 2013 in Centennial, Colorado. It was announced that District Attorney George Brauchler will seek the death penalty for suspect James Holmes who is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes in the Aurora theater shooting on July 20, 2012. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
(R), the parents of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes, arrive at the courtroom for a hearing in the Arapahoe County Justice Center on April 1, 2013 in Centennial, Colorado. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty for suspect James Holmes, who is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes in the Aurora theater shooting on July 20, 2012. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
CENTENNIAL, CO - SEPTEMBER 20: In this photo provided by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, James Holmes poses for a booking photo September 20, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. Holmes is charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder in the July 20, shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images)
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Holmes, who had no previous criminal record, bought a ticket for the screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" before slipping out to his car behind the building and changing into what prosecutors called a "kill suit" of ballistic helmet, gas mask, and head to toe body armor.

He returned and threw a teargas canister into the theater, then opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle, pump action shotgun and pistol. Holmes has declined to testify in his own defense, or to make an allocution statement to the jury.

But the panel did watch more than 22 hours of Holmes speaking to a court-appointed psychiatrist in a videotaped sanity examination.

In the video, Holmes confirmed most of the details of the mass shooting, including his weapons purchases and his plan to draw police and other first responders away from the theater by rigging his apartment with homemade explosives.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Additional reporting and writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing byDavid Gregorio)

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