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Holmes jury declines to rule out death penalty in Colorado theater shooting trial

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James Holmes, left, and his defense attorney, Daniel King, in court in June 2013. (Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

CENTENNIAL, Colorado (AP) — The jury in the Colorado theater shooting trial has again declined to rule out the death penalty as it moves toward sentencing James Holmes.

Jurors said Monday that Holmes’ lawyers haven’t presented a strong enough case to eliminate execution as an option.

The decision clears the way for another round of arguments before the jury makes a final decision between capital punishment and life in prison without parole. Prosecutors will call victims to testify about the impact of Holmes’ crimes on their lives.

The same jury rejected Holmes’ insanity claim and found him guilty of murdering 12 people and trying to kill 70 more in the 2012 attack.

Prosecutors are seeking his execution, saying his cruel ambush caused untold suffering. The defense wants a life term and says mental illness drove Holmes to kill.