James Holmes's court filing about guilty-plea offer a publicity ploy, prosecution says

james holmes beard 205x205.jpg
Photos, documents below.
Update by Melanie Asmar: Was James Holmes's court filing stating that he was willing to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty a publicity stunt?

That's the allegation being made by prosecutors in a response to Holmes's filing (on view below). The filing, they wrote, "appears to be an attempt to deliberately prejudice the public, witnesses and victims against the People." Furthermore, they say there is not "an actual or unqualified 'offer' to plead guilty" on the table, and that a plea bargain would be "extremely unlikely."

On Wednesday, attorneys for accused Aurora theater shooter Holmes filed a "Notice in Response to This Court's Scheduling Order" (on view below) stating that prior to Holmes's arraignment on March 12, he "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."

The notice went on to say that prosecutors had not accepted the offer because they may decide to seek the death penalty. "Consequently, it appears the only impediment to a resolution of this case would be if the prosecution chooses to seek the death penalty," Holmes's lawyers wrote. "If the prosecution elects not to pursue the death penalty, then it is Mr. Holmes's position that this case could be resolved on April 1."

In their response, prosecutors disagreed with those assertions. While they acknowledged that Holmes's lawyers have stated that their client is "interested in being offered the opportunity to plead guilty," they say his lawyers have also refused to "provide specific access to information" that would allow prosecutors "to fully assess the Defendant and his alleged acts for purposes of determining a just outcome in this case."

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The Century 16 theater in Aurora, where the crime occurred, before a recent remodel.
"There is not -- and never has been -- an actual or unqualified 'offer' to plead guilty without response by the People as has been misstated in the Notice," they wrote.

In addition, prosecutors called a plea bargain in the case "extremely unlikely based on the present information available to the prosecution," something they say they've "repeatedly" told Holmes's lawyers.

Prosecutors also argue it was "grossly improper" for the defense to mention a possible plea bargain in its notice at all. They say they "question whether this language was included...in good faith, or whether it was a calculated attempt to improperly inject the issue of the purported defense 'offer' into the public discourse regarding the case."

They note that a "search on Google News at 8:30 a.m. on March 28, 2013 shows that over a hundred news sources" -- including Westword -- "have published stories indicating that the defendant is willing to plead guilty.

"The only conclusion that an objective reader would reach by reading the stories...is that the defendant knows that he is guilty, the defense attorneys know that he is guilty, and that both of them know that he was not criminally insane," prosecutors wrote.

Furthermore, they wrote that they believe State Public Defender Doug Wilson violated the gag order in the case by speaking to the Associated Press about Holmes's lawyers' filing. An AP story paraphrases remarks by Wilson, including that prosecutors haven't responded to the defense's offer to plead guilty and that he didn't know whether prosecutors had relayed the offer to victims as required by state law.

In their response, prosecutors note that the law says they must consult with victims if they are contemplating making a plea offer; it does not require prosecutors to consult victims if the defense makes such an offer -- unless prosecutors intend to take them up on it. "Obviously that has not occurred in this case," they wrote.

Prosecutors say Wilson's statement is especially offensive because they "have provided victim resources and access unmatched in any case known in the history of Colorado, and probably the history of the United States." Victims and family members of victims -- of which there are more than one thousand -- have "access to a full-time prosecutor who is an expert in the Victims' Rights Amendment," they add.

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George Brauchler.
Before a hearing on Monday at which Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler has said he will announce whether he's seeking the death penalty against Holmes, the DA himself "will have had direct contact and consulted with every victim related to the twelve murdered victims to specifically discuss their input on the possible dispositions of this case, including life without the possibility of parole and death," prosecutors wrote.

Prosecutors asked the judge to dismiss a motion filed by Holmes's lawyers seeking sanctions against whomever "leaked" information to a Fox News reporter back in July about the contents of a notebook Holmes mailed to a psychiatrist. The defense has subpoenaed that reporter, Jana Winter, to testify about her sources -- and that hearing is also scheduled to take place Monday. Though lawyers for Winters asked to postpone it, Arapahoe County District Court Judge William Sylvester ruled that the hearing will take place as scheduled. (That ruling is also on view below.)

"Both the improper Notice and Doug Wilson's improper comments to the Associated Press demonstrate that the defense does not come to the court with clean hands," prosecutors wrote. For the defense to ask for sanctions against the law enforcement sources who allegedly spoke to Winters while speaking to the AP themselves "would make a mockery of both the law and this Court's orders," they added.

But Sylvester denied prosecutors' request to drop the Fox News issue. In an order (on view below), he wrote that "the mere fact that a new or additional violation exists does not vindicate a previous violation."

Continue to read the court documents referenced above, as well as our original coverage of Holmes's filing about the possible plea deal.



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87 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 *** Arizona Man, Gets Probation In Mercy Killing ***

PHOENIX -- There was no doubt 86-year-old George Sanders killed his ailing wife. Yet everyone in the small Arizona courtroom – the prosecutor, the judge and even the couple's family members – agreed it was a time for compassion, not punishment.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/30/george-sanders-probation_n_2983996.html


If killing is MERCY -- because it ends suffering -- then how can Death be a "penalty" ?

Stupid Death "Penalty" proponents are as Stupid Death "Penalty" proponents do !!


JokeStir
JokeStir

Thanks for fighting for my right to live.  I dont want to die.  DonkeyHotay is one of my biggest fans. Thanks for your continued support and for pointing out that my psychiatrist is responsible for my inability to maintain sanity.  I am a victim here.  Never forget that.  Keep up the good work donkeyhotay.  See u soon comrade.

tony514
tony514

I say don't feed a troll...let god decide I wouldn't kill a room full of people and I wouldn't kill this guy either im not a killer.

CuriousJorge
CuriousJorge

When a dog or wild animal kills a person it is put down.  The same should happen when a person kills another out of malice.  Vets are pros at lethal injection and I think we could use a few of them at the DOC.  Execute James Dipshit Holmes.

Tracy Daigle Tabone
Tracy Daigle Tabone

I'm sorry, but compassion for whom? The murderer? I say give him life in prison. Death would be too quick of a punishment for him.

Cindy Hill
Cindy Hill

Thank you. So few rational comments, so much blustering.

Pat Angello
Pat Angello

I believe his publicity stunt occurred on July 20, 2012!

Latifah Abdul'laah
Latifah Abdul'laah

Even if he got the death penalty, he'd live for years before his appeals ran out and he was actually assigned an excution date. I figure he's been sitting there long enough for the crazy to wear off, and to realize the gravity of what he's done. Either way, he was still going to have a lot of years left to ride out taxpayer dollars.

Kasey Evelyn Magic-Glitterpop
Kasey Evelyn Magic-Glitterpop

I think the defense attorneys are more concerned with representing their client's best interests and ensuring due process than with "publicity."

Jimmy Jonas
Jimmy Jonas

Sell Tickets for An Aquarium Execution. Rub Chum on him and push him in the shark tank.

Matt Thyer
Matt Thyer

Does it matter? The defense has secured a guilty plea which has been offered up to the public. Either the prosecution is grandstanding on the idea that the public will value a death sentence more than a short trial, or they're they ones hoping for more press. Given the debate in the state over the death penalty going on right now, is it possibly the latter?

davebarnes
davebarnes topcommenter

The deal would save the taxpayers about $2M USD.

I am in favor.

dcCU
dcCU

As noted by several sources Karen Steinhausen, a former prosecutor and current law professor, states the Defense's move is not unusual.  Furthermore, it is the Defense's job to do all they can to save clients life.




DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Death is NOT a Penalty.

Think about it.


scrumdiddlyicious
scrumdiddlyicious

it would be a bright idea all around if the prosecution took the plea. whether one likes it or not--i'm not passing judgment here--w/ the country becoming more & more liberal, say, at least in certain ways, there's a good possibility the death penalty will be abolished while he is still incarcerated, whether he is on death row or not on death row. as per: if he doesnt plead out the whole thing may just turn out to be a pointless but very mediagenic waste of money.

& theres another factor w/ this guy. if we wanna stop these from occurring we need to understand why they happen. to do that, we need to talk to the people who do them. we havent had much chance. the great majority either die on site or are neither intelligent nor insightful nor, of all things, concerned enough w/ anything other than their own welfare to tell us much.

i know it doesnt seem that way now but this one isnt like that. he may have been during the build up to & the execution of his mad & vicious madness. but, before that, he just had not consistently been the person w/ a boobytrapped apartment. he was also the person who wrote his university application essays. there was some real compassion &, of all things, real empathy in there. if we find a way to somehow force him back to being the guy who wrote the essays, to being who he was before he became what he, sadly, became--he could tell us a lot. it's not enough, nothing would be--but it is a whole lot more than we'd get by executing him.

not to mention that he might even save the state more money by committing suicide when he finally & fully understands & accepts responsibility for the horror he caused. i'm saying this in the manner of the sorrowful sardonic, but that doesnt make it any less true.

11er
11er

There are many conspiracy theories floating around about mind-control, the movie itself, witnesses not interviewed, and many more...But bottomline the hell with all that if a M.F. murders in COLD blood they deserve to die. He can plead however he wants but the BITCH needs to feel about 20,000 amps in his brain 1 amp at a time.

christopher168
christopher168

Ultimately in the end one has to wonder if this is the ending that James Holmes envisioned for himself when he went about his carefully conceived plan? Did he seek to be some kind of hero, anti hero, show the world the error of its ways or simply act out that part of himself that he could no longer tolerate and refrain from as he sought the guise of an alter hero. But even an alter hero would choose death would they not by definition….so much carnage and in the end James Holmes still resists being the idea that he forced so many others to lose their lives for.

http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2013/03/james-holmes-to-plead-guilty-so-he-can-avoid-the-death-penalty/

Jason Flaugher
Jason Flaugher

Seriously fry this mother f--ker. He deserves what he gave all those innocent people.

Divad Mcpot
Divad Mcpot

This can happen to anyone he did not receive the help he needed he try it to seek help and this lousy docs. Don’t work they are just interested on their pocket fuck the patient….. Blame the doctor she shut be charge as well for negligent ……….

Jay Jurgens
Jay Jurgens

Are they serious?he will plea guilty to avoid the death penalty. HE SHOULDN'T HAVE ANY RIGHTS. I got in some trouble 20 years ago and with nothing but a speed ticket in all that time I still have no rights. who the fuck is he. Ill tell you he is a murderer. All I did was sell done weed

mr.me
mr.me

you holmes supporters make me sick.  go fuck yourself.  the world will be a better place once he is terminated.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Gustavo 

His victims are DEAD, their suffering is over! ... and the suffering of Holmes will be if you execute him.

Is that your intent, to END the suffering and pain of Holmes, and send him to your mythical Kingdom of Heaven?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@tony514 ... the same "god" that decided to put Holmes on this earth, put firearms into his hands, and allow him to SLAUGHTER innocent people?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@CuriousJorge "The same should happen when a person kills another out of malice"

So every U$ Soldier that killed an Iraqi or Afghan should be PUT DOWN for their homicidal actions, eh?

You ain't the smartest chimp in the jungle, are you boy?

eric
eric

james holmes the mass murderer is afraid to die and is afraid of the death penalty.  life in prison is what he wants and planned for.  people like you are helping holmes get what he wants.

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@davebarnes Only theoretically.  Nathan Dunlap?  1993 Chuck E. Cheese killer?  Sentenced to death?  He's still alive and the state is still spending money on room & board.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@davebarnes ... and it would cause more pain and suffering to Holmes, as he spends every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year of every decade of the rest of his life locked in a cage like an animal.


BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@dcCU Exactly.  It's their job, whether they think their clients are innocent or cold-blooded monsters.

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay Death IS a penalty,  idiot.

PENALTY: the suffering in person, rights, or property that is annexed by law or judicial decision to the commission of a crime or public offense. 

www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/penalty

hth you sniveling idiot


michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@scrumdiddlyicious Very interesting post, scrumdiddlyicious. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@2006KLID "if a M.F. murders in COLD blood they deserve to die"

Jesus would be proud of your blood lust ...

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@Jason Flaugher You're conveniently forgetting about the time it will take to go to trial, the money that will be spent by the state, and the endless appeals for a death sentence which might take another decade or two.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Jay Jurgens "HE SHOULDN'T HAVE ANY RIGHTS."

Spoken like a true Fascist.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@eric ... Death isn't a Penalty ... his "fear" of it will end -- along with any pain and suffering -- the moment you execute him.

Is that your intent, to END his pain and suffering?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@BackOffImStarving ... if it's about the $$$, then why not execute all criminals, eh Torquemada?

davebarnes
davebarnes topcommenter

@BackOffImStarvingNo. Real. $1M for the trial and $1M for all the death penalty appeals.

You make my point by mentioning Nathan Dunlap. I think he is a scumball who deserves to die. But, he will never be executed by the State of Colorado.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1 ... Death ENDS Suffering, you stump-stupid stammering stoner.


scrumdiddlyicious
scrumdiddlyicious

@michael.roberts @scrumdiddlyicious 

thank you. i surely wish more people thought this stuff.

11er
11er

@DonkeyHotay @2006KLID Actually i am a very, very peaceful guy. But living in CHICAGO and looking at all of the children murdered, kind of put me on a ZERO tolerance for this type of shit. i was thinking that maybe JESUS would want to talk to him A.S.A.P.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@CuriousJorge ... so you acknowledge that death is not a penalty, since it ENDS suffering.

CuriousJorge
CuriousJorge

why do you want people to suffer?  do you support torture too?  against suicide?  forcing someone to suffer is cruel. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@2006KLIDstupidstoner"murders in COLD blood they deserve to die. He can plead however he wants but the BITCH needs to feel about 20,000 amps in his brain 1 amp at a time."

@2006KLIDstupidstoner"Actually i am a very, very peaceful guy"

Noted.


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