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Charges and Counts: The Colorado Massacre Theater Shootings


One of my pet peeves about high profile cases is the way charges are brought against a defendant and why prosecutors make the charges more complicated than they need to be. The Colorado case is a perfect example. If the defendant is convicted of one murder it is the same penalty as if he is convicted of 24. You can only kill a defendant once. The other 142 counts are the same, how many life prison sentences can the defendant serve?

Don’t get me wrong the prosecution is well within their rights to charge the crime the way they did. The law states that each count and each charge can be tried together, but must be judged separately. That means each victim who was killed constitutes a separate crime. Each person who was injured is a separate crime. In addition, all of the gun charges and property crimes are separate and can be also tried at the same time. While I understand giving each victim their day in court and also understand the states right to charge the crime as they deem appropriate, I don’t get to what end it serves. The charging document becomes unduly complicated as does the trial. Since you can only kill or sentence someone to life once why make it overcomplicated or confusing? The goal should be to extract the appropriate punishment as efficiently as possible.

Is there any jury in the world that wouldn’t convict the defendant in this case? Probably not. So the more complicated you make it, the more self-defeating it can become. I am not being critical of the prosecution in the Colorado massacre case, the law allows these types of charges to be brought. I am just suggesting a more efficient use of prosecutorial assets, by getting to the punishment aspects of this case as quickly as possible.
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Commentary by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Yale Galanter:

Yale Galanter, a Miami criminal defense lawyer, has over 30 years of experience providing discreet and aggressive legal counseling to both public figures and clients looking for precise and excellent legal defense. Yale Galanter is known for his personal representation and attention to your criminal matter.

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