TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► The Aurora Theater Shooting trial lasted 49 days. The jury deliberated for less than 13 hours before returning with a “GUILTY” verdict on all charges (and there were a lot of charges — 165 in total). Next week, jurors return to the courtroom for the sentencing phase of the trial, as the Aurora Sentinel and the Associated Press report:
The verdict came after 2 1/2 years of legal skirmishing between prosecutors and Holmes’ public defenders and 11 weeks of grueling testimony. The upcoming sentencing phase could easily take another month.
“I’m glad we’re at this point, but at the same time, we have a long way to go,” said Marcus Weaver, who was injured in the attack and whose friend Rebecca Wingo was killed.
Experts say the sentencing phase could prove even more emotionally wrenching as survivors describe the impact of the shooting on their daily lives. It will be a harder decision for jurors, who will have fewer instructions to guide them, said defense attorney Karen Steinhauser, who is not involved in the Holmes case. That jurors swiftly rejected Holmes’ insanity defense doesn’t mean they’ll come to a speedy conclusion about his punishment.
All 12 jurors must agree on the death penalty for James Holmes; if there is even one dissenting juror, Holmes will instead be sentenced to life in prison.
► The Coffmangate Scandal is making waves nationally after a front-page feature story in the Washington Post on Thursday. Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Coffman turned in his worst fundraising quarter in nearly four years in reports filed on July 15.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► President Obama approved a federal disaster area designation for parts of Eastern Colorado devastated by flooding.
► The Senate passed the “Every Child Achieves Act” on Thursday. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) has played a key role in shaping the legislation, which would eliminate many mandates created by the infamous “No Child Left Behind” policies championed by former President George W. Bush.
► Water-rights legislation supported by Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) passed out of the U.S. House on Thursday.
► The University of Colorado is teaming up with CNBC to host a Republican Presidential debate in Boulder on October 28 at the Coors Event Center.
► A Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that TABOR daddy Doug Bruce is indeed guilty of tax evasion and other crimes. Bruce had appealed convictions for tax evasion, filing a false tax return, attempting to influence a public servant and failure to file a return or pay taxes.
► Chiropractor Perry Haney has filed to run for Congress in CD-6 as a Democrat, challenging state Sen. Morgan Carroll for the right to take on incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora). Haney flirted with running for Congress in CD-3 in 2002 before running in CD-6 for a few months; he ultimately dropped out after a campaign finance complaint was filed against him.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Wondering what to make of Donald Trump’s apparent support from Republican voters? You’re not alone.
► The National Journal will stop publishing a printed version of the 46-year-old magazine later this year. The company plans to continue its online news operation, which includes The Hotline.
► Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is anti- anti-bullying.
► Ignoring the wishes of a Republican state legislature, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker will implement the optional Medicaid expansion available under Obamacare.
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