With their son's trial set to start in a month, the parents of suspected Aurora theater shooter James Holmes make a plea for his life in the Denver Post today. "He is not a monster," write Robert and Arlene Holmes. "He is a human being gripped by a severe mental illness." The Holmeses aren't arguing that their son isn't the shooter, only that he should not be executed because of his illness. They think the best course would be for him to plead guilty, avoid a trial, and wind up in an institution that can provide proper treatment for the rest of his life: "We love our son, we have always loved him, and we do not want him to be executed."
"In the criminal justice system, the prosecution and defense can agree to a sentence of life in prison, without parole, in exchange for a guilty plea," they write. "If that happened, our son would be in prison the rest of his life, but no one would have to relive those horrible events at a trial the media has permission to televise." Failing that, jury selection is scheduled to begin on Jan. 20 in the attack that killed 12 and injured 70, reports AP. (Read more James Holmes stories.)