Accused mass murderer in Tucson really competent?
Legal panel weighs in on case
- Duration 6:08
- Date Aug 6, 2012
Legal panel weighs in on case
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Yet wanna talk about this now in detail with criminal defense attorneys to about former prosecutor -- Nelson and criminal defense attorney.
Chip Merlin gentlemen good to see you I read through the ninth Circuit Court McGraw hill's decision which and he ordered him to be forced that is -- And there are very detailed accounts in there and today described him as being turned essentially from.
This -- in dangerous delusional individual.
Into a near catatonic.
State of its former self.
-- chip I wonder I I seriously wonder.
He is he competent can -- in a state like that.
Can he really assist in his own defense which is of course the task for competency.
Well that's the test for -- -- -- in it would appear that at least now because he's gone through some of the medication and the treatment.
That the doctors have indicated.
Number one that.
He under will be able to understand the charges that are being brought against them and assistance of counsel for the defense -- -- -- catatonic chip.
Come -- well that well that's not what the doctors are saying right now otherwise.
Otherwise they would certainly indicate that.
He would not -- competently access to court appointed psychologist.
Here now -- I'm always skeptical of that -- what about yummy if lost there was so crazed.
That he wasn't even competent to stand trial why not plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
Is it guilty plea really in his best interest.
Well that's a great question and I don't think anybody on the outside me or you Greg can figure this out from just our limited information but you hit the nail on the head.
We don't know about these court appointed psychologists that evaluate.
And ultimately give them the courts -- opinion and a lot of them do this are almost like a doctor -- they just sit back and majority of -- all -- rubber stamp pretty much what the government wants unfortunately.
And your right.
We don't know what this guy really is feeling what his mental state -- any might be given up the house.
By taking a plea in this situation he might wanna go to a jury and get -- -- not guilty by reason -- you know my reason of insanity.
She appears that is actually.
By forcing him on to is -- aren't you depriving.
The jury potentially have seen that guy.
In the delusional state in which he committed his alleged crimes.
That's an interesting point one that I don't think has ever been raised.
I thought he was raised by -- sent in the ninth circuit court of appeal -- Yeah what it's it's it's certainly it's certainly the requirement that we tried to get the defendant to a state that he can answer his charges.
And a system that in the council in -- offense.
He can then go back and with all the other psychiatric information got make a determination of whether or not it was insane or not.
Your question that the -- before really comes down the very practical standpoint.
If a person is this delusional he will probably end up that the -- -- -- still.
And an institution for the remainder -- -- put it -- different even slightly might they can save his life by making this plea though.
And he still -- situation so there's not that.
Let me have a good -- and a different way -- do the intended effects of the forced -- psychotropic drugs.
On lost -- fair trial rights.
I say no when you get right down to brass -- it's a good point but the reality of it is if you're.
Having mental issues at the time of a crime there's no reason not to cure those mental issues to bring you -- If -- -- -- -- -- they're not allowing him access to a chosen defense which could be insanity.
Don't just say well.
And what they're not necessarily -- -- still use the defense granted you're not gonna be running around the it is and why is well arguably that -- How would they need to get some videotape then having being crazy before trial because that they -- -- immigrant I would -- -- -- statement at an Internet arena that -- I wanna draw another excellent it's been a year and a half since more than that since Jared Laughner.
Arguably and by eyewitness accounts -- heinous horrible crimes six people died Gabby -- -- still recovering.
Want to draw comparison now to the movie massacre.
The guy who claims you know I'm the Joker.
Could we see the same sort of thing chip Merlin.
In -- case it.
There could be a real hurdle here for prosecutors to prove that god is competent.
Well except that they never raise the competency issue at the at the hearing last week dot com surprise that wasn't raised by the court the prosecution or that -- especially a defense team that might be because.
He was not delusional as a matter fact there was a significant amount of premeditation.
Letters to a psychiatrist allegedly.
As do letters to psychiatrist outlining exactly what you do the booby trapped toward the police there was a lot of -- they still couldn't let it even gets -- and raise it repeated time.
Absolutely can raise it any time the defense later on to do it but.
If he's truly delusional the best time to raise it is right after the incident like in this particular case -- -- in Arizona to help show.
That the court appointed psychologist originally says he's not competent it certainly would raise an issue right away whether or not because it's such a close period of time to the incident.
As whether or not that mental disease preventing him from being same.
Knowing right from wrong at the time the incident took place I don't think Holmes is really gonna have.
That chance in his case he.
He has a chance because that's the only -- he's got.
Everybody clearly saw he did it the difference in Arizona the difference in Arizona is that that competency was done immediately afterwards and so closely tied to the incident.
That the probability of an insanity plea being.
-- was very.
-- -- Ted Nelson chip Maryland -- two terrific lawyers thanks very much for being with us again tomorrow -- -- hearing a lot could happen in the Jared Loughner case.
So will lobby watching that to see thanks very much John thanks.