CENTENNIAL, Colo. (WAFB) - Kathleen Pourciau, mother of Baton Rouge's BonnieKate Pourciau Zoghbi, looked a Colorado judge in the eye Monday morning and asked, "How many people do you have to kill to get the death penalty?"
"Why do you even have a death penalty if you are never willing to use it?" Pourciau asked Judge Alex Samour, speaking directly to him, at the start of a three-day victim's impact hearing.
Her husband, Trace Pourciau told me, "she also spoke to convicted killer James Holmes and his lawyers, looking at them."
Holmes gave no response as Pourciau spoke on behalf of her 23-year-old daughter BonnieKate. BonnieKate still struggles daily with pain and problems from injuries caused by the gunfire unleashed by Holmes at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater in July of 2012 . After all the victims' statements are made, Holmes will be formally sentenced to life with no parole for murdering 12 and injuring 70.
In her statements, Pourciau reminded the court Holmes killed 13, because of the death of a mother and her unborn child that chilling summer night.
Pourciau said BonnieKate was sobbing when she heard the life sentence announced two weeks ago. She was shocked by both the sentence and the fact that she was so upset.
"The message to the victims is that your pain, your loss isn't really that important," Pourciau said. "The message that the state of Colorado values the life of a mass murderer more than the people he murdered."
She called the life sentence "unsatisfactory," saying "victims and their families have now been traumatized twice."
After her testimony, Judge Samour said the judicial system is not a popularity contest.
"Justice was done in this case not because of the outcome but because of the process," Samour said.
In terms of Pourciau's comments that the system has victimized the victims again, Samour said he disagreed with that.
"I'm not the one that decided to have this trial. The decision was made and the trial took place," Samour said. "That's how the system works. In my humble opinion it is the best system available."