James Holmes’ mental illness convinced not just one, but three jurors from deciding he should be sentenced to death, an Aurora theater shooting juror revealed in an excellent story by The Denver Post.
Jordan Steffen’s story, based on an interview with one of the dissenting jurors, gives readers a rare glimpse into a jury’s deliberations and the weight of deciding a killer’s fate.
In the Post story, the juror described her trauma in the wake of the decision and her anxiety that people will realize she allowed Holmes to live.
“It’s lonely,” she said. “You don’t have anybody else there to understand.”
Despite fearing public pressure and regretting the victims’ families’ disappointment, she said she believes the jury ultimately made the right decision.
“Walking to her seat in the jury box for the final time, the juror felt “like a car was parked” on her chest. She couldn’t look at the victims’ families as the judge announced the decision.
“’You can’t say sorry enough to them,”’ she said through tears welling up in her eyes. ‘I know that it was the appropriate answer.’”
Photo credit: Matt Freedman, Creative Commons, Flickr.