Aurora theater shooting: Judge rules that insanity plea laws are constitutional

james holmes beard 205x205.jpg
James Holmes.
The judge in the case of accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes has ruled that Colorado's insanity plea laws are constitutional.

In doing so, Judge Carlos Samour rejected arguments by Holmes's attorneys that the laws are unconstitutional partly because they bar a defendant from calling his own experts to testify about his mental condition at trial if he does not first cooperate with a court-ordered mental examination.

Read the judge's order below.

Holmes is charged with killing twelve people and injuring seventy more in a shooting during the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises at the Aurora Century 16 movie theater on July 20. He will be back in court on Friday, at which time the judge is expected to decide whether to accept Holmes's tendered plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. In March, a prior judge entered a not-guilty plea on Holmes's behalf after his attorneys said they were not yet ready to enter a plea.

Order Regarding Outstanding Issues

More from our Aurora Theater Shooting archives: "James Holmes's attorneys, prosecutors argue about the word 'cooperate.'"

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DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Since when is a Defendant FORCED to cooperate with the PROSECUTION / COURT in order to preserve any Constitutional Rights? ... the 5th Amendment says HELL NO!


The ruling doesn't surprise me . It's all in the 'Law's' interpretation of 'insane' . Throw out common sense or logic . It's almost as if the person isn't OBVIOUSLY inflicted w/ Downs Syndrome, the person in question IS sane . If this Holmes hadn't killed anyone, would you still feel comfortable w/ him dating your daughter ?

After completely blowing the 'Baby Cole' case, to be followed by the inexcusable handling of Patrick Sullivan, Arapahoe County CRAVES blood & has all but promised to add some 'color' to 'Death Row' !

Kimberly Greenwell
Kimberly Greenwell

If you're consciously insane, seek professional help before you murder twelve people.


@Juan_Leg Insanity isn't a matter of being mentally ill or not.  Insanity is purely a legal term that means the person did not know the difference between right and wrong at the time of the incident.  When someone is deemed sane, it was deemed that person knew the difference between right and wrong.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Kimberly Greenwell ... he did.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@PsychProf ... objectively define "right" and "wrong"

Be specific, and show your work.

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