James Holmes was an angry quitter who gave up on life and turned his hatred into murder and mayhem against innocent victims in a Colorado movie theater, the judge said today before formally sentencing him to life in prison. "It is almost impossible to comprehend how a human being is capable of such acts," Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. said. He formally sentenced Holmes to life in prison without parole for the murders of 12 people. He also was sentencing Holmes to more than to 3,200 additional years for attempted murder and an explosives conviction. Holmes' sentencing hearing was largely symbolic but gave scores of victims an unprecedented chance to vent their feelings to the judge.
Samour contrasted Holmes' bloody assault with the compassion of a juror who voted for a life sentence instead of the death penalty. And he noted the trial was fair, even if some victims were disappointed that Holmes didn't get the death penalty. "I believe in the system," Samour said. "I said that before, and I'll say it again. I believe in the system." The judge issued his sentence after two days of testimony from survivors of the attack, as well as first responders. Holmes' mother, Arlene, was the final witness to take the lectern yesterday. She said her son feels remorse for his deadly attack, and that his mental illness and medications make it hard for him to express it. Defense attorney Daniel King said yesterday Holmes will not appeal his conviction. (Read more James Holmes stories.)