CENTENNIAL, Colo. - The judge overseeing the movie theater shooting case is reversing his decision to block three new objections to the death penalty.
District Court Judge Carlos Samour had rejected the three interrelated objections because they were filed after an Aug. 30 deadline. In response, defense attorneys filed a motion to request to be allowed to re-file the three objections.
"Defense counsel represent that they have been working diligently on this case, and despite their best efforts, were unable to complete the three stricken motions by the deadline," Samour wrote in the order announcing his decision. "The court accepts his representation."
Prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty against defendant James Holmes, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to killing 12 people and causing injury to 70 others in an Aurora movie theater on July 20, 2012.
The three death penalty objections that will be resubmitted are all based on the fact that that Holmes was not indicted by a grand jury. The filings argue that pursing the death penalty without a grand jury indictment violates the Fifth Amendment, violates the Cruel and Unusual Punishment of the Constitution and violates the Colorado Constitution.
Because Samour is allowing the defense to file these arguments after the deadline, he wrote he would be willing to extend the prosecution's deadline for a response.