Does James Holmes stand a chance with insanity defense?
Legal panel examines case of Colorado movie theater massacre
- Duration 6:19
- Date Jul 23, 2012
Legal panel examines case of Colorado movie theater massacre
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A big question right now is whether the suspected Colorado gunmen that will plead insanity.
During his -- court appearance down the road he will be also appearing in court about an hour from now that's the first time that.
We -- gonna look at him after this event.
Who was shot in the chin -- Jason theater to where this happened.
Is now revealing what she thinks about 24 year old James Holmes.
It's sad -- Sad to see someone who is so brilliant.
Had so many things for him ahead of him and -- -- away because.
He's pathetic I mean that's -- one word I have form honestly.
So strong and she stood their today.
With -- bullet lodged in her chin and she doesn't know whether or when shall be able to get that taken out very -- young lady.
And meanwhile -- Laura's police chief says it is clear that the suspect carefully planned this attack.
But he started receiving shipments of all this stuff around four months ago.
We don't know now and if we knew we wouldn't really shared with the media what else he was doing prior to that.
But I think as I said yesterday that I think that four months of this kind of activity accumulating this material.
And the manner in which she did amounts to some pretty serious calculation and deliberation.
On his part.
-- talk about these.
Judge Alex is speech -- -- for -- the host of judge Alex.
And he's also a former Florida criminal court judge and doctor chuck Williams is a youth psychologists and educational psychologist.
At Drexel University welcome to both -- you thank you so much for being here.
-- -- Start with -- -- for RA is that this is the question that inevitably comes up.
And it's you know as the captain was talking about there premeditation.
Does that necessarily override the insanity plea.
Of premeditation does not necessarily -- -- it was certainly one factor to consider the monotony test which is applied.
Mostly -- the country and across most of the country is the most common test enough focuses.
On the defendant's ability to to distinguish between right and wrong.
Conform their conduct to that.
To that behavior the behavior to that that knowledge.
It's hit the prosecution's got to a lot of ammunition in this case he clearly gonna -- -- -- a 100%.
And -- prosecutions got a lot to do with this because they can show.
For one thing there is all that planning -- secondly he didn't walk into the theater carrying all that ammunition in the weapons and and the assault gear.
He clearly -- that would be an appropriate the exit -- -- really.
Jury emergency exit went to his car geared up and came back in.
They're gonna focus on his behavior not just the fact that maybe he dressed up as the Joker and and dyed his hair -- you know everybody plays dungeons and dragons would be insane if that was the case.
That it it's his pattern of behavior.
His is calculated acts the way he acts as as the as -- graduates -- -- quite accomplished student.
Com so there's a -- a whole lot of things insanity defense I think will be very very difficult for him to prevail on.
Actually is what do you think.
I think that judge Alex makes.
About you know the fact that there are many people who may engage in kind of you know fantasy play he mentioned dungeons and dragons I'm sure kids.
This Halloween -- redress that the Spider-Man.
And -- men and none of them.
Our sort of help and on this kind of mass destruction that judge James Holmes the perpetrated roar.
His behavior is bizarre and although it may be premeditated.
It's bizarre it falls outside of the range of what we call normal behavior.
This is sort of socio path take behavior.
Maybe he sort of had a psychotic break and during all of this he started the planning around this Dark Knight -- premiere.
To do this kind of thing.
But -- to -- -- if you look at have to handle when he gets into court I guess later today.
I mean judge -- would you buy an insanity plea -- -- based on what you're hearing hair.
Well I mean obviously we don't know everything that the defense is gonna dredge up and had put together here however -- -- a big misconception among the public they think that.
That act that somebody who's not quote unquote normal must be insane wolf -- the case every serial killer would get off the hook every -- murderer would get off the hook.
That's not the way it works -- I think that insanity you know I think of John Hinckley hit it was a conviction was -- -- the insanity plea.
He went to an institution he now as regular visits with his family -- time to time I mean there's all kinds of liberties that are granted to somebody and that in that position.
Just because your mental illness does not mean you are legally insane in the eyes of the law that -- you have to sort of be.
Some what mentally ill and what we would just generally -- crazy in order to go out and kill multiple people tell anybody.
-- but but people get convicted because that's not legal insanity.
And you know in terms of being able to decipher right from wrong doctor Williams having -- that's one of the measures that goes intended to making this judgment right.
And is there anything that we can say about about him at this point whether -- that.
-- -- had to be very clear as some -- Franken psychology insanity is not a clinical diagnosis.
It's not something we treat.
-- up you can give medication for talk about.
It's purely a legal term what we would talk about would be psychosis I talk about the possibility of -- being a brief psychotic break.
Clearly his behavior is psychotic now whether it reaches that.
The S sort of threshold of where in the legal community he would be allowed certain kinds of leeway I'm not sure.
And in my opinion one of the reasons why we try to figure out whether or not this is caused by severe and persistent mental illness is because we can learn from it.
Is a difference between someone who's going out and shooting and killing and maiming because there.
Angry because it's about revenge and they want -- group.
Engage in this inappropriately aggressive behavior of someone who is mentally -- some -- -- sick.
And then goes out and sort of do it does these things that we can treat those kinds of people possibly at our mental health care facilities act.
Lance thank you very much at such -- -- always a pleasure having years wow thank you gentlemen thank them.