Homicide

Jurors to weigh whether Colorado theater shooter should die as sentencing begins

  • In this image taken from Colorado Judicial Department video, Colorado theater shooter James Holmes, fifth from left rear in light-colored shirt, sits in Arapahoe County District Court, where his trial continued Wednesday, July 22, 2015, in Centennial, Colo. The penalty phase of the trial of Holmes, who could be sentenced to death for killing 12 people in a Colorado movie theater, began Wednesday morning with the judge giving instructions to the jury. (Colorado Judicial Department via AP, Pool)

    In this image taken from Colorado Judicial Department video, Colorado theater shooter James Holmes, fifth from left rear in light-colored shirt, sits in Arapahoe County District Court, where his trial continued Wednesday, July 22, 2015, in Centennial, Colo. The penalty phase of the trial of Holmes, who could be sentenced to death for killing 12 people in a Colorado movie theater, began Wednesday morning with the judge giving instructions to the jury. (Colorado Judicial Department via AP, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • A sheriff's deputy enters the Arapahoe County District Court, where the trial of convicted Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes continued Wednesday, July 22, 2015, in Centennial, Colo. The monthlong penalty phase of the trial of Holmes, who could be sentenced to death for killing 12 people in a Colorado movie theater, began Wednesday morning with the judge giving instructions to the jury. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

    A sheriff's deputy enters the Arapahoe County District Court, where the trial of convicted Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes continued Wednesday, July 22, 2015, in Centennial, Colo. The monthlong penalty phase of the trial of Holmes, who could be sentenced to death for killing 12 people in a Colorado movie theater, began Wednesday morning with the judge giving instructions to the jury. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)  (The Associated Press)

Jurors who convicted Colorado theater shooter James Holmes of killing 12 people and injuring scores more must soon decide whether he should pay with his life.

Sentencing for Holmes begins Wednesday and could be even more emotional and polarizing than the 11-week trial.

Prosecutors will argue the July 2012 attack was particularly heinous because a child was among those killed and 70 defenseless strangers were wounded.

Defense attorneys will counter with evidence of Holmes' mental illness. They say that warrants a life sentence over execution. Holmes' parents, childhood neighbors and a college roommate could testify.

The sentencing is expected to take a month. Prosecutors may call some of survivors or victims' relatives to speak about the lifelong pain and heartache Holmes caused.