Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Aurora, Colo., Shooter Moved out of State: Why Is Location So Secret?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Aurora, Colo., Shooter Moved out of State: Why Is Location So Secret?

Article excerpt

James Holmes, the shooter convicted in the 2012 Aurora, Colo., movie theater massacre, has been transferred to an undisclosed, out- of-state prison after he was attacked by another inmate, according to newly released documents.

The attack, which took place last October and resulted in no serious injury, raises questions about the effectiveness of security at the Colorado State Penitentiary where Mr. Holmes had just begun his life sentence for the murders of 12 people. Holmes was supposed to be kept separate from the general prison population while prison officials determined where to house him, but another inmate, Mark "Slim" Daniels, was able to squeeze through an open door where Holmes was leaving an office with a case manager.

High profile inmates are often remitted to protective custody, in order to ensure that prisoners do not take justice into their own hands. Jurors deliberated at length over whether Holmes should die for his crimes, and ultimately concluded that he should instead spend the rest of his natural life behind bars. It is the responsibility of prison officers to ensure that other inmates do not interfere with that sentence.

Yet, some observers wonder whether moving Holmes from the state's highest security prison to an out-of-state facility, and keeping its location secret, is excessive.

"It's called a 'dump job,' " Bob Hood, a longtime corrections official who used to run the federal government's highest-security prison, told ABC News. "Moving him on to another warden. He's always going to be a target. The [Colorado] Department of Corrections could easily have placed him in a secure setting. It's ironic to me that they transfer him out of state for such a simple assault."

The assault took place as Holmes was leaving an office with a case manager. A corrections officer opened a door to the area, and the other inmate squeezed through before it closed. …

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