Colo. Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for Theater Suspect, Ticket Prices

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — James Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 and injuring 70 during a screening of the film The Dark Knight Rises, could face the death penalty, Colorado prosecutors said Monday. The same fate will await movie theater prices nationwide, should those officials have their way.

“James Holmes viciously and mercilessly murdered a dozen of his fellow citizens at the multiplex last year,” said Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler. “But those same citizens had already been gouged by the time they took their seats. We will not rest until these horrible crimes have been faced the ultimate justice.”

“Eleven bucks to watch Christian Bale whisper huskily for two-and-a-half hours?” Brauchler added. “Not on my watch.”

The average U.S. movie ticket price now tops $8, meaning the nearly 80 million Americans who work for minimum wage would have to spend more than an hour’s pay to see a matinee of G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Urban, 3-D and IMAX screenings can run much higher: the cost of a single ticket to Jurassic Park 3D could feed a family of four for a day.

Such gross injustice has led legal commentators to predict the movie studios will employ the same defense as Holmes: insanity.

“Where’s the logic? Where’s the humanity?” Brauchler asked, his voice cracking with emotion. “Movie prices have outpaced inflation by more than half since 1999. What am I supposed to tell my little girl when she wants to see the new Pixar? That this is a cruel world with cruel people in it? It’s too much; it’s just too much.”

Holmes’ defense attorneys had previously offered prosecutors a deal under which their client would serve life in prison without the possibility parole in exchange for avoiding the death penalty. To spare movie tickets the same fate, their defenders have indicated that they’d be willing to offer Brauchler two small drinks and a box of Sno-Caps.