From storms to politics, the year was a wild ride. What are the most meaningful US stories of 2012? Here's the Monitor's list, in roughly chronological order.
James Holmes posted an online question – 'Will you visit me in prison?' – at some point before the Aurora, Colo., massacre. Hearings begin Monday to determine whether such evidence should be suppressed in his trial.
In 2012, four countries that had not used the death penalty in several years were on Amnesty International's list. Missing was China, which keeps its figures secret but is estimated to far outpace others in executions.
The University of Colorado psychiatrist who saw James Holmes once had warned campus police last June – a month before the movie-theater shooting – that he posed a danger, newly released court documents show.