By Dayna Calkins
Three Western Michigan University students have different opinions on whether Colorado shooter James Holmes should receive the death penalty charges he is facing.
On July 20, 2012, Holmes shot into a theater during the midnight premiere of the film The Dark Knight Rises. Holmes released tear gas grenades and shot into the audience with multiple fire arms, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others.
Mary Croll, 20, who is a junior studying public relations at WMU, said she isn’t surprised that Holmes is up for the death penalty. “ I think he should get the death penalty. He killed a bunch of people and that affects all their family and friends, he should pay for what he did. It’s really sad and kind of random that it happened, we should maybe do something to prevent it.”
Croll said that she thinks that if someone deserves the death penalty, he or she should get it in situations such as this one. She thinks it should remain as a sentencing option.
Joe Stando, 24, a senior at WMU studying journalism, is more in favor of lifetime incarceration and is against the death penalty in general.
“At least in modern times, prison breaks are extremely uncommon so we don’t have the threat of people breaking out of jail and going on shootings,” Stando said.
He doesn’t think that Holmes should get the death penalty. “I do think he deserves a lifetime in prison, incarcerated doing hard labor or something. I don’t think the death penalty really solves anything.”
Lauren Vranich, 23, a senior at WMU studying public relations, thinks the death penalty is valid in cases such as mass shootings. “For something that massive, I believe that it’s deserved. He deserves the death penalty because if you can take someone else’s life so carelessly, then why should you be able to live?”