Prosecutors: Two-Track Strategy

    James E. Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations stemming from a mass shooting last Friday in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured dozens of others. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)

    RJ Sangosti, Pool / AP Photo

    Prosecutors in Colorado are covering all their bases. On Monday they filed two sets of first-degree murder charges against James Holmes—two for each of the 12 deaths the 24-year-old is allegedly responsible for—in order to give the jury two separate avenues to a death-penalty sentence should Holmes’s lawyers successfully argue an insanity defense. The two sets of charges are “murder with deliberation,” which is equivalent to premeditated murder, and killing with “extreme indifference to the value of human life,” for which prosecutors must prove “an attitude of universal malice.”

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