Holmes' lawyers file new death penalty challenges

3:58 PM, Sep 3, 2013   |    comments
James Holmes, shown in a March 12 appearance at a hearing in Centenntial , Colo., has offered to plead guilty in exchange for life in prison and no death penalty.(Photo: RJ Sangosti, AP)
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DENVER (AP) - Lawyers for Colorado theater shooting defendant James Holmes have filed six new constitutional challenges to the death penalty, saying execution is cruel and unusual punishment.

The challenges also say executions in Colorado are arbitrary.

The motions were among 20 made public Tuesday. They were filed last week.

Holmes is accused of shooting and killing 12 people and injuring 70 others in a suburban Denver movie theater in July 2012. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

His trial is scheduled to start in February.

The defense filed two other challenges to Colorado death penalty laws in August, saying they don't set clear standards and make it too hard for jurors to weigh mitigating factors.

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