DENVER (CBS4) – A bill has been signed into law that will now require the Colorado Department of Corrections to reveal to crime victims and their families where the perpetrators are being held.
The effort for a bill started with families of the 2012 Aurora theater shooting.
James Holmes was initially being housed in Colorado prisons following his conviction and life sentence. He was attacked in one facility by another inmate. Holmes was then moved out of state.
Family members of victims and survivors of the mass shooting received a letter indicating that Holmes had been moved, but it gave no indication to which prison.
Among the 12 killed was Alex Sullivan whose father, Tom, has been among those leading the fight for notification of Holmes’ whereabouts.
“That’s the person who keeps people up at night. That’s the nightmare they wake up from,” Tom told CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger. ”
Efforts by victims and their families to convince the state to reveal the killer’s prison location were met with deaf ears.
Proponents asked if locations of the Unabomber, Son of Sam and other notorious criminals were public, why not make the Aurora theater shooter’s location known.
A bill to make the location of inmates known to victims and prosecutors was passed. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed it, but received criticism for not holding a signing ceremony with victims’ families.
“When I sign bills, it means I approve them. We did spend a lot of time negotiating, but there was no anger. We thought we got to a good compromise,” Hickenlooper said to a group of reporters in his office on Tuesday.
Sullivan responded, “We’re not looking for an apology. What that all looks to me like is playing politics. There’s real people behind this.”
Sullivan says he prefers to think not about the killer, but his son Alex who was killed on his 27th birthday.
“He’s in our hearts every day and we’re working for him,” he said.
Holmes is now serving his life sentence at Allenwood United States Penitentiary in Pennsylvania.