Colorado theater shooting

Associated Press
As night falls, candles sit iluminated along the sidewalk in front of a makeshift memorial for the victims of a mass shooting at the Century 16 theatre east of the Aurora Mall in Aurora, Colo., on Friday, July 20, 2012. Authorities report that 12 died and more than three dozen people were shot during an assault at the theatre during a midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight." (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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he parents of Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes are pleading for him to be spared the death penalty.

In a letter to The Denver Post published Friday, Robert and Arlene Holmes say they have always loved their son and do not want him to be executed.

"He is not a monster. He is a human being gripped by a severe mental illness," they wrote.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the 2012 attack at a movie theater in Aurora outside Denver. Jury selection is scheduled to start Jan. 20.

(AP)

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