Death Penalty for James Holmes?

Avatar for cmkristy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Death Penalty for James Holmes?
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Mon, 04-01-2013 - 11:34am

DENVER — James Holmes, the man accused of shooting 70 people, killing 12, during a midnight attack at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater last summer, will likely learn Monday whether he’ll face execution if convicted.

Prosecutors from the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s office plan to announce in a 9 a.m. MT hearing if they’ll seek the death penalty, should the case go to trial. Monday’s decision follows last week’s legal theatrics in which Holmes’ defense team said it would enter a guilty plea if the district attorney settled on a life-in-prison sentence.

“It is Mr. Holmes’ position that this case could be resolved on April 1,” his public defenders announced last Wednesday in court filings posted online by the Denver Post. “Mr. Holmes made an offer to the prosecution to resolve this case by pleading guilty and spending the rest of his life in prison, without any opportunity for parole.”

Not only did prosecutors decline the guilty offer—first made prior to Holmes’ March 12 arraignment—but they also lambasted the defense for making it public.

Death penalty decision expected in James Holmes case- http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/death-penalty-decision-expected-james-holmes-case-113742034.html

What do you think will happen? Do you think he can (or should) face the death penalty?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sat, 04-13-2013 - 10:10pm

Punishing people for acting in ways over which they have no control, does not have a place in civilized society.  The Model Penal Code states that our society does not punish people for acts that are not voluntary.  The actor holds no responsibility for an action if it was not voluntary and our society does not punish people for things in which they are not responsible.

insanityplea.umwblogs.org/guilty-but-mentally-ill/

It is hard for me to imagine that anyone would disagree with the above statement.

Many people think the Insanity Defense is a get out of jail free card, but it doesn't tend to work out well for the defender whether mentall illy or not:

"Regardless of the precise legal standard, the insanity defense is rarely raised and even more rarely successful. It is used in only about 1% of cases in the U.S., and is successful less than 25% of the time."

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/almost-psychopath/201208/the-insanity-defense

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Sat, 04-13-2013 - 10:52pm

Yea, I've read those stats about insanity defenses too and I'd love to hear the nitty gritty of how some get the pass but others don't.  I do think the Lanza and Holmes crimes are different and it's just a hunch that a plea for insanity might have made more sense in the Lanza case.......  An after thought but I subscribe to Rick Warren on facebook, This Rev lost his son to suicide last week and he's been writing about it ever since, thanking his followers for condolences etc. etc.  Today he wrote something that really caught my eye, Treating broken minds should be like treating broken bones, something like that.  He's such a great motivator even through such a terrible loss. 

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 04-14-2013 - 9:23pm

In this tragedy, though, I’m discerning a palpable shift in how America is dealing with news of mental illness and suicide.

http://janariess.religionnews.com/2013/04/09/matthew-warrens-death-and-the-changing-tide-of-mental-health-awareness/

Maybe Rick Warren can join other charismatic people and make a difference in attitudes toward mental illness. The loss of his son is such a tragedy....

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Mon, 04-15-2013 - 7:51am

Nis, I appreciate your time, but again, I understand how things work, I don't need a lecture in psychology. But, you seem to want to give them. I just don't know what else to tell you. I explained where I agree and disagree with you and tried to be clearer, but you continue to come back with more of the same. I appreciate your effort and time. But, really, lol .. I already said this issue of privacy can be very frustrating for a parent .. do we really need to keep talking about it? I already agreed there's problems with the system, but really, I do not see, or here from you, any real solution ...

oh, and yes, here again, I get it ... lol ... I said this as well, you are discussing people with existing dx ... but dx starts before that. ack ... I said this before and you continue to circle back to the same thing.

ok .. so now, a parent gets a lawyer, the child gets a lawyer .... ok, maybe a solution on paper, but how many parents will ever do this? I don't know many and under what conditions does anyone have the right to judge some else's mental state .. plus, force them to prove they are sane? Sure, there are clear cut examples, like the man we saw talking to the fence every morning .... carrying on a full conversations with it, but generally, mental illness is more subtle then that.

A mental health court? I can already petition the court to commit someone.

Sure, when we isolate a solution to a specific event, the answers always seem munch clearer, right? But, in general, the problem isn't that others don't see a potential problem. It really lies in the area of ... will someone act on suspicion? Will a parent call the police on a child or get a lawyer? Again, through history, it doesn't appear so.

And once again, set up courts and whatnot, but one cannot force another to maintain treatment, unless, of course, you plan to lock these people up .. .and again, history has shown us, this does not work.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Mon, 04-15-2013 - 1:53pm

A mental health court? I can already petition the court to commit someone.

I don't think that is what mental health court is for.

I don't need a lecture in psychology. But, you seem to want to give them.

I could go back and re-read my posts, but I don't remember lecturing about psychology. I recall posting only things that an average person should be aware of in order to comment on  Aurora with some additional detail to clarify my points.

I explained where I agree and disagree with you and tried to be clearer,

I am aware that you keep asking for "real" solutions. If I have not said it already, I'll say it now. Mental illness is a very complex, with incomprehensible nuances. There are not any simple, clear solutions. That said, the Treatment Advocacy Center has a lot of reasonable ideas. Politicians OTOH have produced only stigma building bunk.

As far as dx vs pre-dx, I fail to see the point you are trying to make. I did try to make a guess about what you meant in at least one post.

but how many parents will ever do this?

I would hope that many parents would do it. It is better than sitting around powerlessly waiting for "enough" deterioration.

under what conditions does anyone have the right to judge some else's mental state .. plus, force them to prove they are sane?

I would hope that if I were to become delusional or suicidal and the people around me noticed, but I didn't notice, that they would take action to help me get help. Really, I see it as very pragmatic and not philosophical. We as a community are not nearly as conflicted about helping people with Alzheimers and demensia as we are about mental illness. That makes no sense to me.

It seems that you think mental illness deserves some sort of special hands-off treatment compared to other disorders. I am curious about that, but I can not figure out how they differ IYO. BTB, sane is a legal term, relating to guilt, it doesn't really have a role in assessing non-criminal mental health.

but generally, mental illness is more subtle then that.

True, but general mental illness is not related to Aurora or Sandy Hook. General mental illness would not be up for consideration for Assisted Outpatient Treatment. Only the blatant talking to the fence type behaviors would. Perhaps that is the disconnect? You've been talking about "general mental illness" and I've been talking about serious mental illness aka the talking to the fence type. Maybe not.

Sure, when we isolate a solution to a specific event, the answers always seem munch clearer, right?

That of course is true, but irrelevant to anything that I am trying to say. Millions of people experience symptoms of serious mental illnes. Millions of families fight an uphill battle to get any decent treatment. If a tiny sliver of those people go on to commit a sensational crime, and those stories are highlighted that does not change the frustrations of millions.

There are many behaviors including talking to a fence that an average person would recognize as "off". (I previously likened it to a rash.) I would like serious changes in behavior to be addressed even if the person experiencing them does not acknowledge them.  Depending on the behaviors, the resources available, or the protections needed, various types of "treatment" should be "pushed". That might be a nudge for harmless, nuissance behaviors {talking to a fence) or it might be some coercion for a more serious behavior (expressing concern that gramma is plotting your death).

Again, I do not think I am saying anything radical or controversial on this point. Quite practical really. Yet you strongly disagree with me. I am befuddled.

I acknowledge that I have said some very off-beat, controversial things in this thread, but fairly consistently you have agreed with me on those points.




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