Insanity, death penalty questions for jurors in Aurora shooting trial

February 11, 2015
Photo: U.S. Supreme Court Building

The second phase of jury selection is underway in the Aurora theater shooting trial against defendant James Holmes.

Holmes, 27, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the July 20, 2012, attack on a Denver-area movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others. 

Potential jurors were asked about their views on mental health and the death penalty. For instance, prosecutors asked a young women if she believed insanity and mental illness are the same. 

Many questions also probed potential juror’s feelings about the death penalty. Jurors on this trial must not be against the death penalty, since it's an allowable punishment in Colorado, and prosecutors are pursuing it in this case. 

The judge also spent time quizzing jurors about hardships they listed as reasons not to serve.

This phase of jury selection is expected to take 16 weeks. The trial probably won’t wrap up until October.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.