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Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes' lawyers challenge death penalty

5:14 PM, Aug 16, 2013   |    comments
The Century 16 movie theatre is seen where a gunmen attacked movie goers during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)
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DENVER (AP) - Lawyers for Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes are again arguing that the state's death penalty law is unconstitutional.

In motions filed Friday, defense lawyers say the law doesn't set clear standards and makes it too hard for jurors to weigh mitigating factors when they deliberate whether to impose the death penalty.

Holmes' lawyers also argue that defendants who choose trial by jury are allowed fewer options to appeal the death penalty than those who choose trial before a judge, without a jury. The defense says that's unconstitutional.

Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in July 2012. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

In May, the judge rejected defense arguments that the death penalty law could unfairly cripple the insanity defense.

The Associated Press

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