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(USA Today)   Judge enters not guilty by reason of insanity for Holmes. No shiat, Sherlock   (usatoday.com) divider line 69
    More: Obvious, doctoral programs, insanity defense, competent to stand trial, insanity, centennials, University of Colorado  
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7888 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Mar 2013 at 4:00 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-12 04:12:43 PM  
6 votes:

onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.


Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.
2013-03-12 04:34:34 PM  
4 votes:

akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.


This. Insane or not, he murdered 12 people. Lock him up or put him down (although generally not a fan, in this case, I think the death penalty is appropriate.) But regardless, this guy does not belong in society any longer.
2013-03-12 04:24:02 PM  
4 votes:

akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.


Let's assume for a  moment that he was so crazy that at the time he killed that he, literally, was incapable of stopping himself from so doing, genuinely believed that there was a reason to do it; or that he lacked the ability to perceive that it was really happening.  By that, I mean, either assume: (i) due to a mental defect he was compelled to do what he did, and could not stop himself; (ii) due to a mental defect he believed that he was acting in self-defense against people who were trying to kill him or those he loved; or (iii) due to a mental defect he didn't understand that he was planning for and killing people -- instead he thought he was weeding the garden or something.


In any of the above cases, he is either not consciously acting to do what he did, or he mistakenly believed that what he did was absolutely necessary.  And let's assume that it is due to a chemical imbalance in his brain that caused him to be in this state.  Much the same way a diabetic will have a hypoglycemic episode or an epileptic will have a seizure.  And I say that, simply to divorce the idea of any moral judgment over his actions from the question of what should happen to him.

Now let's assume that he can be cured.  As in he goes to an institution, and they fix him.  Now what?

Do you really think he needs to be incarcerated or in a mental facility then?  When he is properly medicated he isn't who he was when he wasn't medicated.  Why in the world would you want to punish someone who genuinely wasn't responsible for what he did because of a disease or defect?
2013-03-12 02:39:50 PM  
4 votes:
Fail, subby!  Judge entered "not guilty" plea, told Holmes he can change it to "not guilty by reason of insanity."
2013-03-12 07:41:14 PM  
3 votes:
avgenes.files.wordpress.com

Bullshiat.

He wasn't insane, he was just a middle-class, educated, sexually frustrated, juvenile white male who wanted to make a name for himself.  But finding a purpose and working in this world was toooo haarrrrrrd.

But sadly, I honestly believe the "insanity" diagnosis will be ASPERGERS.
2013-03-12 04:55:48 PM  
3 votes:

Explodo: ValisIV: vudukungfu: How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.

Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.

That's because of the whole appeals part.  I'm happy with the protection of appeals in cases where guilt is NOT in question.  In this case, there is no question of not-guilty.  He did it.  He was seen doing it and caught doing it and admitted doing it.  There should be no appeals for him.  He should be found guilty and be killed immediately.


Look.
Take him out back and shoot him in the head, Do it now.

He can appeal all he farking wants next farking week.

Execute him now.
He gets a fair and speedy trial and we get a fair and speedy execution.

this isn't one of those, "Oh, they convicted him because he's black and we found DNA and shiat 50 years later exhonorating him" deals.

This is a cold blooded mad dog killer.

You take him out and shoot his ass in the head, and sleep well at night.
And use cheap ammo, too.
22 shorts, and keep plugging away until he's dead.

Or 2 CCI stingers.

I don't care. Just don't start warehousing this asshole on my farking dime and tell me you are serving justice.
I lived through enough decades to know when I'm getting farked in the ass while being told I'm actually getting a Beeg, while not enjoying the courtesy of the reach-around.

Do the right thing.
Stop punishing the victims by making them pay for this shiathead's cable TV and hot meals.
2013-03-12 04:32:48 PM  
3 votes:

Ned Stark: Why is it sad that someone legitimately sick and therefore not guilty of any crime won't be executed?


Legitimately sick or not, he's still guilty of the crime. If he is indeed sick, the punishment may differ, but he's still guilty (regardless of what the legal system might call it.)
2013-03-12 04:32:09 PM  
3 votes:

Litig8r: Now let's assume that he can be cured.  As in he goes to an institution, and they fix him.  Now what?

Do you really think he needs to be incarcerated or in a mental facility then?  When he is properly medicated he isn't who he was when he wasn't medicated.  Why in the world would you want to punish someone who genuinely wasn't responsible for what he did because of a disease or defect?


Then his ass goes to jail. Or he stays otherwise confined and makes his life as best as he can in captivity.

Sorry, but he doesn't walk free, sane or nuts. If he can be treated, he can always quit keeping with the treatment and go nuts again. He murdered innocent people for no reason whatsoever. Even if he can be completely and fully cured with no future treatment required he should be jailed just for that.

I may sound like a real mean person here, but this farker's a murderer. Making him sane isn't going to change the past. He pays the price for what he did. Period. He never walks free.
2013-03-12 04:29:49 PM  
3 votes:
The insanity defense is a terrible precedent and should be revoked in perpetuity.  By definition crimes of this nature are insanity--a sane person would not have done them in the first place.  We accept they're not sane.  That does not obviate the need for penalty.  In fact, in increases that need--an extraordinarily unsane person needs an extraordinary reminder of why it's a bad idea to go around killing and maiming people.
2013-03-12 04:26:12 PM  
3 votes:
img441.imageshack.us
2013-03-12 04:21:44 PM  
3 votes:
I see a new market for the century and a half pills. Forced life sentences. No dying early for you! 3 consecutive life terms? Bummer dude, enjoy your stay.
2013-03-12 06:20:24 PM  
2 votes:

screwzloos: He's no longer of any use to society.


I always find this attitude disturbing.

I'm reminded of an interview with a old Silicon Valley startup king. He started several successful engineering firms and had retired off to just funding startups. The interviewer asked him what he did to ferret out unproductive employees. And the guy says, everyone asks me that, and the truth is, I don't care. That's his managers problem not mine.  An unproductive engineer just costs me his salary.  The guys I worry about are the guys exhibiting negative productivity. They can cost me the whole company. A bad tech can destroy the work of a couple of engineers. A bad manager can destroy the work of hundreds of engineers.  It's those guys you have to identify and get rid of, often they're right under your nose. Sometimes that guy is you.
2013-03-12 05:32:46 PM  
2 votes:
He is obviously guilty and obviously insane
2013-03-12 05:04:30 PM  
2 votes:
Doesn't the bomb stuff at his apartment indicate that he was sane though - for legal purposes - because he set a trap for the law enforcement people?  Clearly he is well bonkers and then some from the average bloke in the street pov, but isn't the legal definition different?
2013-03-12 04:59:40 PM  
2 votes:

Litig8r: crazytrain: Just playing devil's advocate, but It seems like that defense, or line of thinking, would also have to apply to drunk drivers. Even more so for the ones completely bombed out of their mind. Obviously, their judgement is impaired and they're not capable of making rational decisions in that state, so why should we punish them so harshly?

Because the person who gets bombed made a decision to engage in a behavior known to them to cause that state.  Crazy people (assuming he is) are just that way and they couldn't control whether they entered that state.  So the causal chain between their conscious acts and the ultimate outcome is severed.



What if the crazy person deliberately chooses to NOT take their meds and they go off and kill?  They made a conscience choice that killed others.  What's the difference?
2013-03-12 04:50:28 PM  
2 votes:

Litig8r: if someone cannot comprehend or control their act


Just playing devil's advocate, but It seems like that defense, or line of thinking, would also have to apply to drunk drivers. Even more so for the ones completely bombed out of their mind. Obviously, their judgement is impaired and they're not capable of making rational decisions in that state, so why should we punish them so harshly?
2013-03-12 04:45:30 PM  
2 votes:

crazytrain: It's cases like this that really test my christian belief that the death penalty should be abolished.


Ditto, but my (still evolving) belief that the death penalty should be abolished is not so much a result of Christian worldview but a libertarian one... I don't necessarily think that the government should maintain the power of cold blooded life and death where there is any possibility of error. I'd rather leave the worst scum in existence locked in a perpetually locked down cell for life than risk executing someone who was actually innocent.

But for this bastard, I might make an exception.
2013-03-12 04:42:04 PM  
2 votes:
It's cases like this that really test my christian belief that the death penalty should be abolished.
2013-03-12 04:36:55 PM  
2 votes:

ValisIV: vudukungfu: How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.

Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.


That's because of the whole appeals part.  I'm happy with the protection of appeals in cases where guilt is NOT in question.  In this case, there is no question of not-guilty.  He did it.  He was seen doing it and caught doing it and admitted doing it.  There should be no appeals for him.  He should be found guilty and be killed immediately.
2013-03-12 04:34:39 PM  
2 votes:

akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.


THIS.

The judge didn't enter a "not guilty by reason of insanity" plea; he merely entered a "not guilty" plea due to the fact that S.S.B.'s laywers could not come to a conclusion on a plea.  The clown's still able to plead insanity at trial.

I honestly don't think the clown will be able to pull off an insanity plea.  He was too methodical; there was too much planning involved.  I just don't see it happening.
2013-03-12 04:29:11 PM  
2 votes:
How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.
2013-03-12 04:25:02 PM  
2 votes:
That's the closest theater to my house.  There's no doubt about whether or not he did it.  He's sane enough to get through college to the point he had reached.  Just kill him and be done with it.  Anything else is a waste of time and resources.
2013-03-12 04:03:35 PM  
2 votes:
Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.
2013-03-12 08:35:24 PM  
1 votes:

Grobbley: akula: Sorry, but he doesn't walk free, sane or nuts. If he can be treated, he can always quit keeping with the treatment and go nuts again. He murdered innocent people for no reason whatsoever. Even if he can be completely and fully cured with no future treatment required he should be jailed just for that.

So if someone goes into a diabetic coma while driving and plows through a crosswalk full of children, you would be okay with locking them up for life even though we can treat the problem that caused the accident in the first place, since the person could choose not to continue treatment at some point and do it again?  Okay, then.

/You're thinking with your emotions, not your logic


Murder requires "malice aforethought" malice being further defined as either actual intent to kill, intent to cause such serious bodily harm that death was a reasonably foreseeable result, or "depraved heart" malice, i.e. such wanton and reckless disregard for human life that it is evidence that the person really doesn't care that death could be a result of their actions.

Going into a diabetic coma is usually not evidence of such malice, UNLESS the person in question has a clearly demonstrated habit of repeatedly not taking their insulin, eating lots of sugary foods and then going for a long drive. Even in this litigious age, we distinguish between accidents and malicious behavior. Which is why the insanity plea seems to rouse such fury in people: "Let them off?!? But they did that on purpose!! They shouldn't be able to do that and walk away scot-free!!!"

Right, they shouldn't. Assuming they really were so insane that they honestly didn't realize what they were doing was wrong when they did it. As I already said above, it's a very high bar, a very narrow standard to meet. It's not just "going nuts." It's not just "Oh, I don't know what came over me," Dan White's Twinkie defense notwithstanding. (And nobody's gotten away with that since) Anybody really insane enough to warrant "winning" an insanity defense is not going to "get away with murder," he's going to spend the rest of his life in a hospital, because he's so detached from reality.

I will bet dollars to donuts right now that even IF Homles tries the NGRI defense, he will not win. He cannot win, because he so clearly intended to kill his victims. He obviously meets the elements necessary for homicide in Colorado; and that right there will destroy an insanity plea. He is toast.
2013-03-12 08:11:50 PM  
1 votes:

akula: Sorry, but he doesn't walk free, sane or nuts. If he can be treated, he can always quit keeping with the treatment and go nuts again. He murdered innocent people for no reason whatsoever. Even if he can be completely and fully cured with no future treatment required he should be jailed just for that.


So if someone goes into a diabetic coma while driving and plows through a crosswalk full of children, you would be okay with locking them up for life even though we can treat the problem that caused the accident in the first place, since the person could choose not to continue treatment at some point and do it again?  Okay, then.

/You're thinking with your emotions, not your logic
2013-03-12 07:40:35 PM  
1 votes:

MacWizard: That sentence would seem to describe the vast majority of everyone in prison.


Joe is a decorated war veteran.

He was proud to serve. He was awarded a medal after he unhesitatingly went beyond the call of duty, putting himself in grave danger to successfully assist some comrades pinned down by enemy fire. But three years into his enlistment, he started experiencing psychotic breaks with reality, paranoid delusions, depression, and symptoms of PTSD.

He's faithfully complied with treatment for his conditions ever since he was discharged from the military after a psychotic episode which finally got two members of his unit seriously wounded. But the meds don't stop the symptoms completely. Psychotic episodes still happen from time to time. Especially in conjunction with the various illicit substances he uses to cope with the pain of his post-military life.

One day he uses a drug with hallucinogenic properties, which triggers a psychotic episode. He imagines he's back on the battlefield, and that the people around him are enemies. He feels completely surrounded in enemy territory. Like Holmes, he executes a scheme of mass murder involving body armor, semi-automatic weapons, booby traps, and more. He kills two dozen people, including a little girl and three police officers, before being subdued.

Do you think Joe's actions, heinous as they were, are morally the same as a white supremacist who participates in a lynching? If not, the reason is because when Jim acted, he didn't understand the nature and quality of his actions. But we've no like reason to believe the white supremacist didn't understand his. And though he may disagree with society's view on the wrongness of lynching black teenage boys who date white girls, there's no serious dispute he understood what he did was a crime. He did it. He tried to cover up his involvement. He fully understood if he got caught he'd be prosecuted.

In my view, the white supremacist is much worse morally than Joe. It's not even a close case, even though he killed a lot more people. Joe didn't know what the f*ck he was doing. While he's clearly a danger to society and must be segregated from it, he's not an evil person. His confinement should be treated as a tragic necessity for public safety. But the white supremacist is just an evil prick who should be strapped to a chair and pumped full of electricity until his nuts melt.

Morally speaking, Joe's case is very different from most of those in prison. The question here is whether James Holmes's actions are more like Joe's, or more like the white supremacist's.
2013-03-12 07:06:00 PM  
1 votes:

Litig8r: akula: I think this discussion is interesting, but ultimately purely academic. I'm not sure how often this kind of thing ACTUALLY happens... not just someone going nuts, but someone doing something this heinous and then getting fully cured with no chance at all of relapse. Something's broken in his head and it just isn't going to be fixable to where I'd ever want him out on the street.

Yeah, I think we are in agreement.

I think the questions that we're kicking back and forth, though, are going to get a hell of a lot more interesting as medicine improves.  The real thorny issues are going to happen when (more properly, if) it is eventually discovered that there is genuinely something wrong in the mind of certain criminals that makes them unable to control their impulses.  Not that they can't appreciate that their actions are wrong, but that they know that they are wrong and do them anyway because they lack the capacity to stop themselves.  To dangerous to live among us, but not really through any personal failing.  And if we could actually cure them...how radically we'd have to revamp our entire justice system, no?


Honest question: If that's the case, then what? I hear what you're saying... but even if it's found that Holmes (for example) had no control over his impulses and/or no knowledge of what he was actually doing, I can't see letting him walk away with zero consequences. He still killed those people. If we could cure people like Holmes, then institutionalization wouldn't be the answer because they'd no longer need that help, but if we can't lock them in prison, do we just let them go free? Do we figure out some third option, and what would that look like?

This has been a really interesting conversation thread (for the most part).
2013-03-12 06:55:54 PM  
1 votes:

Litig8r: I think the questions that we're kicking back and forth, though, are going to get a hell of a lot more interesting as medicine improves. The real thorny issues are going to happen when (more properly, if) it is eventually discovered that there is genuinely something wrong in the mind of certain criminals that makes them unable to control their impulses.


Your line of thought is sound, but I have an issue with calling what this guy did an "impulse," especially when you consider the lengths to which he went to booby-trap his apartment. Then add in the preparation of buying body armor, collecting the weapons and ammunition. And propping open the exit so he could sneak in while the movie was showing.

There was nothing impulsive about this, it was a well-planned, pre-meditated event.

Not that they can't appreciate that their actions are wrong, but that they know that they are wrong and do them anyway because they lack the capacity to stop themselves.

That sentence would seem to describe the vast majority of everyone in prison.

To dangerous to live among us, but not really through any personal failing. And if we could actually cure them...how radically we'd have to revamp our entire justice system, no?

That's a pretty damn huge "if" statement. A monumental obstacle. Big enough to be the jumping-off point for a book -- or an entire series of speculative fiction.
2013-03-12 06:51:25 PM  
1 votes:

gibbon1: Sometimes that guy is you.


Assuming that was the punchline of your message, I hold no hypocrisy there. When (not if) the day comes that I am no longer of any use to society, I know what I must do.

It's unfortunate that James didn't carry out that duty for himself before July 20. He certainly doesn't have the means to, now.
2013-03-12 06:51:23 PM  
1 votes:

onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.


The question isn't whether he's loony.  The question is whether he understood that his actions were wrong at the time the acts were committed.
2013-03-12 06:51:03 PM  
1 votes:
Murdering dozens of innocent people is murdering dozens of innocent people, no matter how cracked your teapot is. This guy is beyond redemption even if there was a cure for whatever afflicts him. Lock him up and throw away the key, heck, try some new psychoactive drugs on him so something potentially useful comes from his life for the rest of society. Same goes for the Loughner weirdo.
2013-03-12 06:38:23 PM  
1 votes:
There are two areas of health care that should always be free of charge; mental health issues, and serious infectious diseases (TB, etc.)
2013-03-12 06:28:22 PM  
1 votes:

Happy Hours: praxcelis: The insanity defense is a terrible precedent and should be revoked in perpetuity.  By definition crimes of this nature are insanity--a sane person would not have done them in the first place.  We accept they're not sane.  That does not obviate the need for penalty.  In fact, in increases that need--an extraordinarily unsane person needs an extraordinary reminder of why it's a bad idea to go around killing and maiming people.

IANAL or a doctor, but I believe those 2 professions define insanity differently. I'm not even sure doctors use "insanity" anymore (they call it mentally ill)..

As I understand it, the legal definition requires that he didn't know what he was doing was wrong.


The legal definition of insanity is, if Colorado uses M'Naughten (which I think they do?): Unable at the time of the killing to EITHER 1. unable to distinguish right from wrong OR 2. unable to comprehend the nature and quality of his act. It's a pretty narrow standard. It means that the killer has to either genuinely not know that what he was doing was socially wrong OR genuinely not realize that he was taking human life.

It doesn't mean "Oh my god, only a crazy person would start spraying an assault rifle around in a dark theater." Yeah, that's "crazy" and may be the act of a mentally ill person, but it DOESN'T fit the definition of M'Naughten. The Joker could be shooting up a theater and still know perfectly well it was both socially wrong and would result in many human deaths.

A better way to understand the insanity defense is to consider who it is really intended to benefit. M'Naughten is why, for instance, very young children cannot be charged with murder. A two-year old child might kill another child, but is not capable of understanding that it is socially wrong or that they have permanently deprived another human being of life. So if an adult is suffering a mental defect to the extent they believed all those humans were rosebushes and the AR-15 was a pair of garden shears and all they were doing was pruning the rosebushes, then they'd be in the same situation as that two-year old child.

But you need to be able to prove that the defendant had that mental state, and it's an extremely high bar. And M'Naughten and other defenses shift the burden to the defense; which is why so few of them succeed. A defendant can be completely psychotic and still not meet either prong of M'Naughten, too, if he knew he was killing humans or that it was wrong to do so. If he thought they were space aliens cleverly disguised as human beings and it was his job to kill them so they'd revert to their alien form--he'd still be guilty of murder.
2013-03-12 06:26:33 PM  
1 votes:

TeddyRooseveltsMustache: He'll go to jail anyway. It's more than he deserves.


Again. It does not serve Justice to tax the victims to pay for his comfort.
2013-03-12 06:25:17 PM  
1 votes:

ReverendJynxed: Begoggle: If you plead "insanity" and the court agrees, that means you're free to go, right?

Free to go to a care facility for the rest of your days.



Not always.

http://www.fark.com/comments/7616341/
"U.S. District Judge Patricia Gaughan freed Meredith Lowell of Cleveland Heights earlier this month based on a psychological report that found her mentally incompetent to stand trial and not capable of being rehabilitated to competency."
If you're a danger to society and sane, go to jail. If you're a danger to society and insane, but capable of being treated, go to an institution. If you're a danger to society and insane, and incapable of being treated, you get a "get out of jail free" card.

Not that I believe Holmes is going to be released, but the legal precedent is there.
2013-03-12 06:24:18 PM  
1 votes:

aprentic: way south: ValisIV: Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?

Its expensive because we've made it expensive.Without the appeals, legal finagling, and specialized equipment, doing the deed is pretty cheap.
[dl.dropbox.com image 500x500]
/Its not like you'll find a shortage of volunteer executioners.
/Truth be told, I'm ambivalent about the death penalty.
/Kill him or lock him up forever, just don't dick around with the process.

All that dicking around is supposed to insure that we don't accidentally execute innocent people. Since we manage to fark that up anyway I'd rather keep dicking around.




In practice this means more loopholes and oversights, where the guilty squeak out of punishment and the innocent get slammed by the system.
If you want a program to work better then you strive to reduce the amount of code. You reduce the possibility got things going awry in your design by building it properly from the start.

If you've got a death penalty that can't be used because of wasteful appeals, what assurance do I have that lawyers won't appeal life or that this guy won't come back to cause some other future headache?
Instead of pretending its ok to have a mess, maybe we should spend some effort to fix it.
2013-03-12 06:23:30 PM  
1 votes:

Somaticasual: This man might be slightly crazy, but he was quite sane when he thoroughly planned his actions. Stockpiling guns and ammo then body armor is not a spur of the moment "insane" action, but pure methodical evil planned over weeks if not months. That's where you draw the line between a padded room and the green mile..


In a more general sense, have you considered the case where someone would stockpile guns, ammo, and body armor because he thinks aliens or communists are out to get him? Paranoid schizophrenia doesn't equate to someone mumbling to themselves in a corner or flailing about wildly, but it certainly isn't "quite sane".

Not that I'm implying that was James's case.
2013-03-12 06:18:36 PM  
1 votes:

Litig8r: ReverendJynxed: People are worried about what happens when he gets out and accidentally forgets his morning meds. If it is something so mundane as needing a pill to fix the problem, the problem could just as easily come back as it is a band-aid and not an actual cure in the case of chemical imbalances. This would indicate a need for lifetime monitoring. The only way to accomplish this in a satisfactory manner to ensure public safety, is to have him locked up and forced to take his meds and finger-paint. When he is rational enough on meds to have this explained, if he is truly remorseful, he shouldn't have a problem with this and understand the need for it. If he doesn't understand it, then no "cure" was affected and he's there for more programming.

I'm with you on this, absolutely.  But my question goes more to the question of what if they fix him?  You know, it turns out he has a brain tumor that made him go crazy or something.  And they remove the tumor and he's back to reality.  At that point there's not "moral" issue involved in punishment, and there's no chance of him doing it again.  What then?


If for some outlandish reason the judge released him after tests concluded that a something like a tumor made him unstable enough to commit murder he would either:

A) be killed by a victims family member who is too grief ridden to accept or understand the judges decision to release him
B) commit suicide after not being able to find a place to:
1) Live
2) Work
3) Escape the endless waves of harrassment from the victims friends, family, and sympathizers.

All roads lead to death for this guy.
2013-03-12 06:04:47 PM  
1 votes:

Litig8r: Now let's assume that he can be cured.  As in he goes to an institution, and they fix him.  Now what?

Do you really think he needs to be incarcerated or in a mental facility then?  When he is properly medicated he isn't who he was when he wasn't medicated.  Why in the world would you want to punish someone who genuinely wasn't responsible for what he did because of a disease or defect?

 

And then, when he's out...and decides to stop taking the medication that makes him 'sane'? Then what?
2013-03-12 05:57:18 PM  
1 votes:

cefm: Usually a mental incompetence plea does NOT result in the person having a "happily ever after" life.  In many cases they are unable to ever prove competence again (regardless of treatment) and are stuck in a loony-bin forever.


Yeah, in the exceptionally rare (but often highly-publicized) cases where the insanity defense holds, the person usually stays locked up in a psychiatric hospital for a longer period than they would have served (without proper treatment) in prison.  They're not just set free.  I don't know where people get that idea.
2013-03-12 05:55:20 PM  
1 votes:
This man might be slightly crazy, but he was quite sane when he thoroughly planned his actions. Stockpiling guns and ammo then body armor is not a spur of the moment "insane" action, but pure methodical evil planned over weeks if not months. That's where you draw the line between a padded room and the green mile..
2013-03-12 05:43:24 PM  
1 votes:
Usually a mental incompetence plea does NOT result in the person having a "happily ever after" life.  In many cases they are unable to ever prove competence again (regardless of treatment) and are stuck in a loony-bin forever.
2013-03-12 05:43:05 PM  
1 votes:

Litig8r: akula: I think this discussion is interesting, but ultimately purely academic. I'm not sure how often this kind of thing ACTUALLY happens... not just someone going nuts, but someone doing something this heinous and then getting fully cured with no chance at all of relapse. Something's broken in his head and it just isn't going to be fixable to where I'd ever want him out on the street.

Yeah, I think we are in agreement.

I think the questions that we're kicking back and forth, though, are going to get a hell of a lot more interesting as medicine improves.  The real thorny issues are going to happen when (more properly, if) it is eventually discovered that there is genuinely something wrong in the mind of certain criminals that makes them unable to control their impulses.  Not that they can't appreciate that their actions are wrong, but that they know that they are wrong and do them anyway because they lack the capacity to stop themselves.  To dangerous to live among us, but not really through any personal failing.  And if we could actually cure them...how radically we'd have to revamp our entire justice system, no?


Yeah, that would DEFINITELY kick open a huge can of worms. It seems like it's going to take a great deal more understanding of the brain and how we think before we're to that point, but I fail to see how it couldn't cause some kind of huge shift in criminal punishment. Is our main aim rehabilitation? Punishment? It reminds me of the prison system in Demolition Man.

And now that it's brought us to so-so Stallone movies, it's probably time to let it go...
2013-03-12 05:41:46 PM  
1 votes:
His parents could afford to send him to a nice school, so they aren't broke. Offer them the chance to put him in a nice institution. Even if he knew what he did, putting him behind bars for the rest of his life isn't going to do anyone any good.

That said, if they can't/won't pay his way, the death penalty might be the right answer. He's no longer of any use to society.

These nonsense comments about torturing him or putting his head on a pike are pretty sick, by the way.
2013-03-12 05:40:25 PM  
1 votes:
The accounts thus far of Holmes do not, to me, portray someone who is legally insane. The premeditation involved, the attempts to plan for the possibility that someone would try to stop him, suggest to me someone who was fully capable of realizing that society would deem his actions wrong.

Now, it's still possible that the man suffers from schizophrenia or something akin to it, that prevents him frm giving society's disapproval the weight it should have. Usual disclaimers of not knowing all the facts apply. But it strikes me more that his lawyers' examination of the possibility of having him declared him legally insane just represent the duty of a defense lawyer to look out for the best interest of their vclient and present the best possible case for him, rather than any likelihood that said case is actually plausible.
2013-03-12 05:36:00 PM  
1 votes:
In Columbus, Ohio we had a "sniper" a few years ago who shot and killed a woman driving on the Outer belt.  This guy was wandering around the city randomly shooting cars and other objects because he saw them as ravening alien monsters that were coming to kill him.  The woman was killed because while he was shooting at cars, he accidentally hit her.

His attorneys entered an insanity plea and failed.  No insanity plea has succeeded in the state of Ohio in over 50 years.  A guy who shot at the sides of buildings and cars because he thought they were monsters was judged legally sane.  He was found guilty of murder.

I think that matches the common-sense definition of "insanity" -- not the defendant, I mean the criminal justice system.
2013-03-12 05:30:04 PM  
1 votes:
Does it really matter if he was insane at the time and or is insane now? I think the only question that should concern the court is "Did he do it?" We should not care about his mental state even if he is insane he should still be put down for what he did if he is found to have committed the crime.
2013-03-12 05:21:38 PM  
1 votes:

Stone Meadow: Holmes sat silently during the proceedings as defense attorney Dan King said he needs more time to prepare a plea. "We cannot ethically represent that we are ready to proceed," King said. "We're just not ready now."

IOW, King knows Holmes is sane, but needs more time to find a shrink to testify he's not. The downside for him is that as soon as King enters an insanity plead, the Judge can order state examination of Holmes...with presumably unsympathetic shrinks. Holmes and King are definitely walking a tightrope here...one slip and Holmes could be facing the noose.

[good.jpg]


Right now Holmes is already planning his next escape from Arkham, and wondering if they've changed the rules on receiving mail since his last time there. He's probably not too concerned with whatever his lawyers are doing. Then again, since our entire judicial system in the US is a clusterf*ck that needs to be burned to the ground and rebuilt, that's as good a strategy as any.
2013-03-12 05:20:50 PM  
1 votes:

akula: I think this discussion is interesting, but ultimately purely academic. I'm not sure how often this kind of thing ACTUALLY happens... not just someone going nuts, but someone doing something this heinous and then getting fully cured with no chance at all of relapse. Something's broken in his head and it just isn't going to be fixable to where I'd ever want him out on the street.


Yeah, I think we are in agreement.

I think the questions that we're kicking back and forth, though, are going to get a hell of a lot more interesting as medicine improves.  The real thorny issues are going to happen when (more properly, if) it is eventually discovered that there is genuinely something wrong in the mind of certain criminals that makes them unable to control their impulses.  Not that they can't appreciate that their actions are wrong, but that they know that they are wrong and do them anyway because they lack the capacity to stop themselves.  To dangerous to live among us, but not really through any personal failing.  And if we could actually cure them...how radically we'd have to revamp our entire justice system, no?
2013-03-12 05:06:10 PM  
1 votes:

Litig8r: akula: What I'm saying is that either way he's too dangerous and too much of a risk to ever let go.

I'm cool with that outcome if he can't be "cured" -- but assume that he could.  100% cured, no chance of recurrence.  Then what?

Even setting aside that I agree with you, the risk concept is kind of scary when applied in the wrong context -- I'm seeing more and more civil commitments of certain types of offenders following completion of their sentence on just those grounds (I don't litigate those cases, but I've certainly seen them).  And that scares the hell out of me, honestly.


I understand, but the thing is, even though he may not have been in any kind of rational state he still did a seriously heinous act. In this case the punishment is not so much just because of any effect it has on the perpetrator, but it is just because of the effect it had on society. The perpetrator is only one item in this equation; some things have punishments because the acts are damaging to society.

I am no lawyer so you have the advantage in terms of vocabulary for the discussion as well as experience with the system, but as a citizen I find it unreasonable to think that someone who could do such a thing could be cured and then turned loose to walk among us with no further repercussion. Even if this fellow spends fifty years sitting in prison after being cured (again, for the sake of argument) thinking "Man, that was basically somebody else who did all that," for the rest of us it damn well was the same person. Even IF there was zero chance of recurrence (which I don't believe is remotely possible), I still say he pays the price for what he did when he was insane. Sucks to be him, but he's managed to amass a pretty impressive body count anyway.

I think this discussion is interesting, but ultimately purely academic. I'm not sure how often this kind of thing ACTUALLY happens... not just someone going nuts, but someone doing something this heinous and then getting fully cured with no chance at all of relapse. Something's broken in his head and it just isn't going to be fixable to where I'd ever want him out on the street.
2013-03-12 04:55:28 PM  
1 votes:

ValisIV: vudukungfu:  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.


I realize the price of ammunition is going up, but it can't have gone up that much?
2013-03-12 04:53:57 PM  
1 votes:

crazytrain: Just playing devil's advocate, but It seems like that defense, or line of thinking, would also have to apply to drunk drivers. Even more so for the ones completely bombed out of their mind. Obviously, their judgement is impaired and they're not capable of making rational decisions in that state, so why should we punish them so harshly?


Because the person who gets bombed made a decision to engage in a behavior known to them to cause that state.  Crazy people (assuming he is) are just that way and they couldn't control whether they entered that state.  So the causal chain between their conscious acts and the ultimate outcome is severed.
2013-03-12 04:52:17 PM  
1 votes:

onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.


Why do you think it unfortunate that mentally ill people cannot be executed?
2013-03-12 04:51:13 PM  
1 votes:

Litig8r: akula: Litig8r: Now let's assume that he can be cured.  As in he goes to an institution, and they fix him.  Now what?

Do you really think he needs to be incarcerated or in a mental facility then?  When he is properly medicated he isn't who he was when he wasn't medicated.  Why in the world would you want to punish someone who genuinely wasn't responsible for what he did because of a disease or defect?

Then his ass goes to jail. Or he stays otherwise confined and makes his life as best as he can in captivity.

Sorry, but he doesn't walk free, sane or nuts. If he can be treated, he can always quit keeping with the treatment and go nuts again. He murdered innocent people for no reason whatsoever. Even if he can be completely and fully cured with no future treatment required he should be jailed just for that.

I may sound like a real mean person here, but this farker's a murderer. Making him sane isn't going to change the past. He pays the price for what he did. Period. He never walks free.

Under my fact pattern, he's not a murderer, though.  Murder requires a level of cognition at which a person in the state I described is incapable of functioning.  I'm not even sure someone in that state could commit an act that would rise to the level of involuntary manslaughter, simply because it typically involves some level of either negligence in connection with the fact pattern giving rise to the death (turning off a ventilation hood in a lab while failing to notice that someone is working there) or engaging intentionally in a criminal act that causes a death (running a red light and causing a crash).

And the divorce of moral judgment from the act is the core of what I'm talking about: if someone cannot comprehend or control their act, when one says they're making them "pay a price" for "what he did" they're not separating the judgment of the act from the actual facts in play at the time of the commission of the act.  Making someone pay a price for an act they couldn't contr ...


If that is the case, then he still stays locked up. Why? Well, he's proven he's a danger to others. He may not have understood what he did (I doubt that's the case, but for the sake of argument), but if that is indeed true then he's still too dangerous to be allowed to breathe the free air ever again. Seeing as how it is not possibly to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he would be cured of such mental illness, his ass stays locked up in the basement of St. Depressing's Home for the Criminally Insane. Let him act sane there for the rest of his life. We'll consider letting him out if he's ever reincarnated.*

What I'm saying is that either way he's too dangerous and too much of a risk to ever let go. If he's incompetent to know what he did, he's also too incompetent to know he's being locked up for the benefit of all the other six billion people on this planet who manage to not go on a shooting spree in a movie theater. Either way, he stays locked up. The only question is WHERE we lock his ass up. If he's sane, then it's prison. If he's not, some padded room with greater access to mental help. Either way, he doesn't feel the sun on his face except through a frosted window. Ever.**

*Yes, that's sarcastic.
** Yeah, I know that's not likely how it's going to pan out, but damn. It would be nice if we didn't have to worry about murderers getting to go outside for some recess. If they murdered others (whether they knew they were or not), they stay in the basement. Forever.
2013-03-12 04:43:51 PM  
1 votes:

akula: Litig8r: Now let's assume that he can be cured.  As in he goes to an institution, and they fix him.  Now what?

Do you really think he needs to be incarcerated or in a mental facility then?  When he is properly medicated he isn't who he was when he wasn't medicated.  Why in the world would you want to punish someone who genuinely wasn't responsible for what he did because of a disease or defect?

Then his ass goes to jail. Or he stays otherwise confined and makes his life as best as he can in captivity.

Sorry, but he doesn't walk free, sane or nuts. If he can be treated, he can always quit keeping with the treatment and go nuts again. He murdered innocent people for no reason whatsoever. Even if he can be completely and fully cured with no future treatment required he should be jailed just for that.

I may sound like a real mean person here, but this farker's a murderer. Making him sane isn't going to change the past. He pays the price for what he did. Period. He never walks free.


Under my fact pattern, he's not a murderer, though.  Murder requires a level of cognition at which a person in the state I described is incapable of functioning.  I'm not even sure someone in that state could commit an act that would rise to the level of involuntary manslaughter, simply because it typically involves some level of either negligence in connection with the fact pattern giving rise to the death (turning off a ventilation hood in a lab while failing to notice that someone is working there) or engaging intentionally in a criminal act that causes a death (running a red light and causing a crash).

And the divorce of moral judgment from the act is the core of what I'm talking about: if someone cannot comprehend or control their act, when one says they're making them "pay a price" for "what he did" they're not separating the judgment of the act from the actual facts in play at the time of the commission of the act.  Making someone pay a price for an act they couldn't control or understand is imposing a consequence on an act that can't be controlled.  It's like punishing a pig because he can't fly -- there's no moral component underlying the act, and no agency driving the behavior.  It just "is" the same way the sky "is" blue.
2013-03-12 04:41:05 PM  
1 votes:
If I ever get that crazy, I hope someone has the decency to shoot me in the off chance I come to my senses and realize what I've done.
2013-03-12 04:40:13 PM  
1 votes:

Explodo: ValisIV: vudukungfu: How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.

Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.

That's because of the whole appeals part.  I'm happy with the protection of appeals in cases where guilt is NOT in question.  In this case, there is no question of not-guilty.  He did it.  He was seen doing it and caught doing it and admitted doing it.  There should be no appeals for him.  He should be found guilty and be killed immediately.


True, but I think most states have unlimited appeals for death row convictions? And you're right abo0ut the costs coming from appeals, as far as I know. Don't think they could not give him appeals, legally. But IANAL, so not sure how that all works.
2013-03-12 04:38:53 PM  
1 votes:

praxcelis: The insanity defense is a terrible precedent and should be revoked in perpetuity.  By definition crimes of this nature are insanity--a sane person would not have done them in the first place.  We accept they're not sane.  That does not obviate the need for penalty.  In fact, in increases that need--an extraordinarily unsane person needs an extraordinary reminder of why it's a bad idea to go around killing and maiming people.


You need to look up the definition of legally insane versus plain old batshiat nuttier than a ten ton pile of squirrel feces insane.
2013-03-12 04:38:14 PM  
1 votes:

praxcelis: The insanity defense is a terrible precedent and should be revoked in perpetuity.  By definition crimes of this nature are insanity--a sane person would not have done them in the first place.  We accept they're not sane.  That does not obviate the need for penalty.  In fact, in increases that need--an extraordinarily unsane person needs an extraordinary reminder of why it's a bad idea to go around killing and maiming people.


IANAL or a doctor, but I believe those 2 professions define insanity differently. I'm not even sure doctors use "insanity" anymore (they call it mentally ill)..

As I understand it, the legal definition requires that he didn't know what he was doing was wrong.
2013-03-12 04:35:06 PM  
1 votes:

Begoggle: If you plead "insanity" and the court agrees, that means you're free to go, right?


Free to go to a care facility for the rest of your days.
2013-03-12 04:32:49 PM  
1 votes:
www.lolwtfcomics.com
2013-03-12 04:32:38 PM  
1 votes:

Litig8r: akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.

Let's assume for a  moment that he was so crazy that at the time he killed that he, literally, was incapable of stopping himself from so doing, genuinely believed that there was a reason to do it; or that he lacked the ability to perceive that it was really happening.  By that, I mean, either assume: (i) due to a mental defect he was compelled to do what he did, and could not stop himself; (ii) due to a mental defect he believed that he was acting in self-defense against people who were trying to kill him or those he loved; or (iii) due to a mental defect he didn't understand that he was planning for and killing people -- instead he thought he was weeding the garden or something.


In any of the above cases, he is either not consciously acting to do what he did, or he mistakenly believed that what he did was absolutely necessary.  And let's assume that it is due to a chemical imbalance in his brain that caused him to be in this state.  Much the same way a diabetic will have a hypoglycemic episode or an epileptic will have a seizure.  And I say that, simply to divorce the idea of any moral judgment over his actions from ...


People are worried about what happens when he gets out and accidentally forgets his morning meds. If it is something so mundane as needing a pill to fix the problem, the problem could just as easily come back as it is a band-aid and not an actual cure in the case of chemical imbalances. This would indicate a need for lifetime monitoring. The only way to accomplish this in a satisfactory manner to ensure public safety, is to have him locked up and forced to take his meds and finger-paint. When he is rational enough on meds to have this explained, if he is truly remorseful, he shouldn't have a problem with this and understand the need for it. If he doesn't understand it, then no "cure" was affected and he's there for more programming.
2013-03-12 04:31:50 PM  
1 votes:
Holmes sat silently during the proceedings as defense attorney Dan King said he needs more time to prepare a plea. "We cannot ethically represent that we are ready to proceed," King said. "We're just not ready now."

IOW, King knows Holmes is sane, but needs more time to find a shrink to testify he's not. The downside for him is that as soon as King enters an insanity plead, the Judge can order state examination of Holmes...with presumably unsympathetic shrinks. Holmes and King are definitely walking a tightrope here...one slip and Holmes could be facing the noose.

[good.jpg]
2013-03-12 04:24:29 PM  
1 votes:

Katolu: Come, Holmes, get out of my way.


Taxing little girlies from here to LA
2013-03-12 04:23:02 PM  
1 votes:
www.talismancoins.com
/relevant
2013-03-12 04:22:48 PM  
1 votes:
Because why would we want to know if he was insane  before he got some guns and killed innocent people
2013-03-12 04:10:23 PM  
1 votes:

onyxruby: unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it


Hahaha.  So, you would feel better if he was not declared insane and he and didn't get the death penalty because they don't have it???
2013-03-12 04:08:47 PM  
1 votes:
So ..... Sideshow Bob is no longer valid?
2013-03-12 04:04:39 PM  
1 votes:
Come, Holmes, get out of my way.
 
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