News organizations have requested a lift of the “gag order” in the case of accused Colorado movie theater gunman, James Holmes. Arapahoe County District Judge, William Sylvester is not complying with the request.
He has released 34 documents involving media motions and procedural issues in the case. However, he has ordered that the documents that the media is most interested in be kept under seal. These documents include, but are not limited to, affidavits of probable cause, subpoenas, arrest warrants and search warrants.
Holmes has been charged with 24 counts of first degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder in the shooting at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado in July. Twelve people were killed and 58 were wounded.
James Holmes was a 24-year-old former graduate student. He was arrested shortly after the shooting massacre. According to authorities, he told police that he was the Joker, in reference to Batman’s arch nemesis.
Lawyers for 20 high profile news organizations have filed for a release of more documents. These organizations include CBS, The Associated Press, The New York Times and The Denver Post. Their claim is that continuing such secrecy in a high-profile case “undermines our nation’s firm commitment to the transparency and public accountability of the criminal justice system.”
Prosecutors and defense lawyers have both objected, stating that it is too early to release the file due to it remaining an ongoing investigation.
Holmes public defender, Daniel King, has said that his client suffered mental illness and attempted to seek help prior to the shooting. That remark has prepared the prosecutors for an insanity plea in Holmes defense.
As of right now, Holmes is being held without bond, in solitary confinement in the local county jail and the files of this case will not be released.