Theater shooting prosecutors ask judge to bar testimony about execution procedures and incarceration

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Prosecutors seeking the death penalty in the trial of James Holmes are asking the judge to prohibit testimony about execution procedures and prison conditions if he is convicted.

Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 and injuring 70 in an Aurora movie theater on July 20, 2012. His trial is scheduled to begin in February of 2014.

If Holmes is convicted of murder, the same jury will decide if he should be executed or sentenced to life without parole.

The district attorney's office filed a series of preemptive motions Friday. Posted online Monday, they show the prosecutors want the court to limit what witnesses can say during the sentencing phase if Holmes is convicted.

Based on legal citations and court precedent, the DA is arguing that the following types of evidence and testimony should be barred from the sentencing phase, if Holmes is convicted:

-- History of the death penalty

-- Colorado's method of the capital punishment

-- Prison living conditions

-- Unrelated murder cases

-- Opinions on capital punishment

-- Potential impact of the execution on Holmes' family or friends

-- Evidence designed to show residual doubt about guilt

The prosecution also asked the judge to require the defense to disclose a list of what they consider mitigating factors, proposed jury instructions and proposed an advisement of Holmes' rights to make a statement at his sentencing.

Also Monday, a judge ordered a Fox News reporter to return in September for possible questioning about her confidential sources for a story about Holmes.

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