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James Holmes: Aurora Shooting Suspect Loses Insanity Plea Challenge

James Holmes Insaity Defense

James Holmes may not be able to plead insanity in a case where he is accused of killing 12 people in a shooting this summer at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

Lawyers representing Holmes had made an effort to challenge the constitutionality of the state’s laws for insanity pleas, saying that it placed undue burden on defendants.

The law requires a defendant who pleads not guilty be reason of insanity to cooperate with an independent psychiatric evaluation. Under the law as it stands, Holmes would have to share some journals with prosecutors that could implicate him in the shooting. If he were to seek a normal defense Holmes would not have to share the writings.

Lawyers for Holmes said that would have violated his right against self-incrimination.

“In order to effectively represent Mr. Holmes, counsel must be able to accurately assess the consequences of a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity,” his attorneys wrote in the motion.

On Friday a judge ruled that Colorado’s insanity defense law is constitutional, leaving the legal team for James Holmes just days to make a plea. His arraignment is planned for Tuesday, and after that prosecutors have close to two months to determine if they will seek the death penalty against Holmes.

Though a judge made a ruling in James Holmes’ attempt to challenge the insanity defense law, there are still unresolved issues regarding the case. There is still uncertainty on how the insanity defense will be applied in a death penalty case.

James Holmes faces 166 counts of murder, attempted murder, and other crimes for the July 20 shooting at a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. The shooing left 12 people dead and 58 wounded by gunfire.

Attorneys for James Holmes said an insanity plea remains an option, but they haven’t decided on a defense yet.

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16 Responses to “James Holmes: Aurora Shooting Suspect Loses Insanity Plea Challenge”

  1. Marilyn Carl OConnell

    The creep killed innocent people! Everybody knows he did it! What the hell is the problem? Now that he did what he wanted now he's begging not to go to prison? What a worm! Kill people and then waste everybody's time and money to say you don't want to face the consequences of you actions??? Everybody deserves a fair trial, but the people he killed and injured deserve justice for his actions!!!!

  2. Darryl Ruperto

    This guy is just another attention seeking sh*tbag and deserves the same punishment he carried out on those innocent people he killed.

  3. Cheryl Blanchard Rasmussen

    Wasting taxpayers money going to trial. Everyone knows he did it. Save time and money and just rule death penalty and then do it. Don't let him sit in prison for years on end.

  4. Patricia Host

    That's all b.s. I could never defend a mass murderer in good conscious and try to get him off on a technicality.

  5. Lottie Jeanette Ahrens

    The Bible has rules for the death penalty. Deliberately taking a life is one. Anyone who decides to do these horrible things is mentally sick but it does not mean he gets a free pass. He needs to pay for his crimes.

  6. Georgina Bausch Goff

    He deserves a trial but we all know that he is guilty. We should not even bother with sentencing him to prison, he should be shot and killed for his crime. Why waste tax payer's dollars on prison for him.

  7. Adrienne Corbett

    ummm …. sounds like the type of regime that is Iran..or Iraq…just sayin'. If "everyone knows he's guilty" already without affording him his due process and a jury of his peers, we might as well just drop a drone on his house and go on about our business. And yes, I am a strong proponent of the death penalty. Please don't be quite so cavalier about giving up our rights as American citizens. I believe what we really need here is a "guilty but insane" plea, wherein the person convicted goes into a mental rehabilitation setting and if and when he is judged, better, he THEN goes to prison to do his time for the crime.:::okay, off my soapbox:::

  8. Hope Tindall

    I don't care how they do it, just get to it. Save the taxpayers' money, and execute him. He showed no mercy to his victims; should he be shown mercy? Let him meet his Maker, and see if he finds mercy there.

  9. Jennifer Weiss

    Like it or not, he's an American with the right to a fair trial. Now, his insanity plea is out the window. This just shows that the jury and the judge aren't buying into the media stories that have hit since the shooting. This shooting was planned and wanted to take as many peoples lifes as he could. Now he faces the death penalty. I will admit this though, I feel bad for the families. Not just the victims, but his family. They're suffering to and I think lots of people forget that.

  10. Kyla Jones

    I agree completely, Adrienne. The idea of a vigorous defense is not to get the perpetrator of a crime "off," but to ensure that everyone accused of a crime receives due process and ensures that, if there is ANY doubt at all, the prosecution must prove guilt. While I do think there's little doubt that this loon actually did what he is accused of in this case, there are many, many cases that are not so cut and dried, so every US citizen must receive the same guaranteed rights as every other for the system to work at all. The "guilty but insane" plea works well for several other countries, protecting the truly mentally ill from unjust execution while protecting society from the truly (and dangerously) mentally ill.