Tags: james holmes | trial | closing | arguments | sanity

James Holmes Trial Closing Arguments Focus on Sanity

Image: James Holmes Trial Closing Arguments Focus on Sanity
In this June 4, 2013 file photo Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes appears in court in Centennial, Coloorado. (Andy Cross/The Denver Post via AP, Pool)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015 12:41 PM

Closing arguments in James Holmes' trial for “The Dark Knight Rises” shootings swirled around questions concerning his mental health and the death penalty, as the prosecution and defense debated how accountable he should be for the 2012 deaths of 12 people in a movie theater.

The jurors then began deliberating on Wednesday on whether Holmes was legally insane. If so, he will be committed to a mental hospital for an indefinite period of time.

 


Prosecutors maintain that Holmes was legally sane when he entered the movie's midnight premiere at a theater in Aurora, Colo., on July 20. He was armed with an assault rifle, shotgun, and pistol, according to The Associated Press.

“That guy was sane beyond a reasonable doubt, and he needs to be held accountable for what he did,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “[The victims] came in hoping to see the story of a hero dressed in black, someone who would fight insurmountable odds for justice. Instead, a different figure appeared by the screen. ... He came there with one thing in his heart and his mind, and that was mass murder.”

Defense Attorney Dan King disagreed, arguing that Holmes’ actions resulted from his schizophrenia.

“The evidence is clear, that he could not control his thoughts, that he could not control his actions, and he could not control his perceptions,” said King, according to CNN. “Only the mental illness caused this to happen and nothing else.”

Although Holmes, 27, hasn't disputed his identity as the shooter who also injured 70 that night, he has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Despite his claims, the prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

After the shooting, investigators found Holmes’ apartment was rigged with lethal booby traps, according to the AP. Holmes also spent months collecting an arsenal of weapons and drawing plans for a theater shooting in a notebook.

“That is logical. That is rational, and that is anything – anything – but psychotic,” said Brauchler.

 



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Closing arguments in the James Holmes trial for “The Dark Knight Rises” shootings swirled around questions concerning his mental health and the death penalty as the prosecution and defense debated how accountable he should be for the deaths of 12 people in a Colorado movie theater in 2012.
james holmes, trial, closing, arguments, sanity
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2015-41-15
Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015 12:41 PM
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