James Holmes’ parents have written an Op-Ed piece that insists that their son is not a monster, and he is instead mentally ill. They also believe that James Holmes should be committed to an institution where he can be treated, rather than executed.
It’s been 29 months since James Holmes burst into a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, and killed 12 innocent people who had simply gathered to watch a movie. The grief and sorrow that flows throughout the families of each of these victims every single second of every single day is incomparable.
But two individuals who will forever be associated with this tragedy, who will feel different pangs of emotion towards those who lost their sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers or fathers, are the parents of James Holmes; Robert and Arlene Holmes. With the trial of James Holmes now delayed until January 20, 2015, which is when jury selection is due to begin, the pair have explained their feelings in a piece in the Denver Post. In the article, they argue why James Holmes shouldn’t be executed. They have stated that he is mentally ill, and they want him to be provided with treatment for the remainder of his life in an institution.
"We understand that if our son is found not guilty by reason of insanity, he could go to an institution that provides treatment for the mentally ill for the remainder of his life. This result would prevent any future harm to him and others.
Robert and Arlene Holmes’ heartfelt open letter also declares that they are hoping that a trial can be avoided because then "no one would have to relive those horrible events at a trial the media has permission to televise."
However, the pair are more than aware that families and friends of those who were lost and injured in the shooting would love nothing more than to see James Holmes killed. They have even seen internet postings that have compared him to a monster. They believe that couldn’t be further from the truth, though. "He is not a monster," the article adds. "He is a human being gripped by a severe mental illness."
The duo also noted, "We believe that the death penalty is morally wrong, especially when the condemned is mentally ill." They then signed off their piece writing, "Our family has not given interviews to the media because we do not want coverage of ourselves. We mourn the deaths and the serious injuries and emotional trauma of the others who were in the theater. The focus should be on the injured and their healing." James Holmes’ crime will never be forgotten or forgiven. But he is still the son to a mother and father, and whatever the outcome of his trial they will forever love and fight for him until the fate that he brought upon himself is sealed.