Inside potential insanity defense for James Holmes
Legal discussion of CO massacre case
- Duration 6:26
- Date Jul 30, 2012
Legal discussion of CO massacre case
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And at this -- -- alert and accused Colorado mass murderer James Holmes in court right now where he will hear the formal charges against him.
And the deadly shooting Rampage at an -- movie theater earlier this month.
I just to be clear what you're seeing on the -- -- -- screen there is not live pictures of homes actually saw last week it's the only video we have a -- And the only video we will get at him at least right now.
-- the defense expected to bring -- media leaks in the case which they say violate the judge's gag order you're seeing the court and the top box in your screen.
Holmes is mental state could also be an issue in today's hearing will see about that Fred -- it.
Prosecutor -- says.
And doctor Brian Russell psychologist and attorney is also with us sir Fred let's talk a little bit about the mental state some suggest that this case is not about a who done it.
I'm gonna call homes the alleged murderer because he still is technically alleged this time but.
Many suggest is not a who dedicates -- more about what the strategy will be from the defense what do you see.
Right now sitting in front and the defense and how do you think -- the mental state of homes will be brought -- What I wanted to get you to calm alleged but in my opinion he's guilty so I'm not gonna -- -- -- some of the call on the shooter -- and the reason why say that's because the facts and evidence against him -- -- or overwhelming that he engaged in this criminal activity so the question is.
As his defense lawyers well no they're never gonna be able to defend him on the facts of the case they have to go to his mental state.
And in Colorado the bird was actually in the state of Colorado the proof that the guy was not criminally insane which means that he understood the nature and quality of -- -- And that he understood that what he was doing was wrong and he can resist the impulse to do these things and and did so.
That's -- I think is the way case is gonna play out and get that's what about Phil's gonna -- Doctor Russell can someone be insane or -- and be mentally disturbed and still know the difference between right and wrong and be tried.
As a regular -- -- that doesn't have those issues.
Absolutely -- good morning it's important to keep in mind that even -- floor at least psychotic person.
Can still be and should be held accountable for his or her actions if he -- she.
Knew what he -- she was doing.
And knew that they conduct was criminal this the insanity defense has been around since the beginning of humanity -- and the reason is that we don't want people to be executed or imprisoned for life without parole for what I call accidents -- illness things that involved absolutely no criminal intent.
But I can tell you agenda that anybody who fits that bill is not going to be mentally equipped to be engaging in the kind of complex planning and concealment that we saw on this case.
News and -- that concealment has been referred to.
In his notebook that was apparently sent to and -- psychologist.
Doctor -- on that the defense might be filing a motion today were expected to see it to claim that that notebook that was sent to that doctor.
Is privilege because Holmes was a patient at this doctor.
Is it privilege is that something -- that shouldn't be exposed to the public.
I dispute that assertion Jenna and the reason is because I don't think that this communication.
Occurred in the context of the doctor patient -- the treatment relationship.
But even if it did -- The only plausible.
You know potential defense in this case is an insanity defense and as soon as the defense inserts the defendant's mental state into the case.
Then it becomes fair game for the prosecution to find out about the middle history and records as well so.
I think the -- it's an interesting legal question but practically I think this information is going to command.
Fred what do you think about that how big of a deal is that -- really.
Witten when -- a trillion it but I think it's going to be a very big deal many shows that he knew that he was doing he -- to this woman I think that in connection with the fact that he made to his apartment to blow up which is on the prosecutor.
I'm arguing that that was at -- by hand to conceal.
Evidence from law enforcement of this crime and so I think altogether when you look at it I I think it's going to undermine this insanity defense and we'll see what's in the book.
But you know he sent that to -- that's seven -- -- it on some level that something was.
-- -- Well the -- lot of arguments about that no but then we'll see again how those play out we're not gonna hear anything from inside the courtroom right now.
Nolan had the Blackberry known as a computer -- members of the media and there.
Had their bag -- so -- the families of the victims says it very close court right now Fred and what's interesting it's several media outlets including this one.
Have file the request.
-- to unseal documents in this case.
Because -- argument on behalf of the media is that the public has an interest in the case that they have a constitutional right to know the public in general.
To know the deet tails of this case Fred what do you think about that.
Well -- that they're not wrong about that gentlemen our constitution it assures that all defendants have an open trial open to the public in the public does have a right to know and quite frankly the victims due to.
But here's the thing.
You've already seen the defense argue that as a result of leaks to the press that their ability to properly defend this guy has been compromised and job one.
I I get with the media once again they wanna see this stuff but job one is to make sure.
That this -- -- properly tried convicted and sentenced and ultimately pays the price for what he's done.
It's in right now people are arguing that defense is arguing that the media's gonna compromise your ability to defend these guys that another in hand compromises the governments -- State's ability to.
-- -- I would like to ask your question this year -- and not not as a lawyer so much but as a psychologist here we've not a lot of details about this case and just in general.
Is it good.
For the public to know all of the deet -- a tiny details as someone who allegedly went in and hide the purpose and -- killing.
Innocent people is that really something that we need to know that's good for us -- now.
Well -- my particular concern along those lines would be kids being exposed to too much of it -- focusing on it too much and becoming worried that the world is unsafe and unpredictable and all like that.
In general I feel that the media involved in any case like this really helps to expand the size of the courtroom.
Big enough to include debt or it's -- anybody in our country who wants to be present for proceedings I think that's a good thing.
But I don't think that people ought to be spending a lot of their time dwelling on the gory details of the case now.
It's hard for -- ought to figure out children included but adults as well.
I doctor Russell nice to have you as always your expertise and Fred great to have you as well thank you very adamant back thing.