Lafayette Shooting Did Not Influence Jury In Colorado Shooting
Two horrific incidents that are tied together because of the similarities in which they occurred could have been intertwined even further. I say could have because a Colorado judge overseeing the trial of James Holmes, the man convicted of opening fire in an Aurora Colorado movie theater three years ago, has ruled that coverage of the shooting in Lafayette on Thursday would not influence the jury seated in the penalty phase of that case.
Legal analyst Tim Meche says attorneys for Holmes argued that the jury who is considering the penalty phase in the Holmes case could be influenced by watching coverage of what unfolded in Lafayette.
The jury has been instructed not to instruct any news coverage of their case, nevertheless over the weekend they may have been exposed to the extensive media coverage of the Lafayette case.
Meche's comments were reported by the Louisiana Radio Network. He went on to explain that the judge did ask the jurors if they had seen coverage of the Lafayette shootings. All 12 members of the panel raised their hands. Each juror was questioned individually about the details of the Lafayette case, what they knew, and if that would influence their ability to be fair and impartial to Holmes.
Any time something like this happens, it's completely appropriate and advisable for the judge to protect the integrity of the record by asking each juror if they have been influenced.
After speaking to the jurors the judge in the Holmes case decided that coverage of the Lafayette shootings did not interfere with any member of the jury's ability to continue in the sentencing phase of Holmes' trial. Holmes is facing the death penalty for the killing of 12 people and the wounding of 70 others in a theater shooting in 2012.