Wikipedia data shows that one of the first questions people had upon learning of Friday's shooting in Aurora, Colorado, was: what's that state's death penalty policy? According to data from stats.grok.se, a site that tracks Wikipedia traffic, in the three days since the shooting, the page "Capital Punishment in Colorado" received more than 100,000 views. In the months before, that page's traffic was typically around 1,000 views per month.
Looking at Wikipedia page views is telling because it's a place where many go for quick answers.It may not have the most definitive answer, but it's a good first stop. Clearly, the shooting had many people wondering whether shooting suspect James Holmes would faced a death sentence if he is convicted for killing 12 people and wounding 59 at a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. And the curiosity appears to be front-loaded: If you look at the daily data, 43,280 of the visits came on Friday, gradually tailing off by through the weekend.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.