Judge outlines consequences of a not guilty by reason of insanity plea for James Holmes
Last Updated: 186 days ago
After resolving several objections, the judge overseeing the movie theater shooting case has released a final document detailing the consequences of a not guilty by reason of insanity defense.
Holmes' lawyers tendered the not guilty by reason of insanity plea, but the court hasn't accepted it yet because related several legal issues were being argued. District Court Judge Carlos Samour ruled on all of the objections last week, but in doing so offered to delay a hearing that was scheduled for Friday and allow attorneys to review his ruling.
The defense team, who were working against a June 3 deadline for filing certain motions related to the case, requested the delay.
When the court reconvenes Tuesday morning, the judge will advise Holmes' and his team about the consequences of the insanity plea.
The final advisement document outlines how the jury will be instructed to determine if Holmes is insane, how the state will examine his mental state and the consequences if Holmes doesn't cooperate with the examination.
For example, the advisement states:
"It shall also be permissible to conduct a narcoanalytic interview of you with such drugs as are medically appropriate, and to subject you to a polygraph examination."
A narcoanalytic interview is essentially a "truth serum." The prosecution told the judge in a previous filing that it does not recall a truth serum being utilized in Colorado in recent memory. The judge ordered that no narcoanalytic exam will take place without a future court order.
The advisement also includes:
"If you do not cooperate with psychiatrists and other personnel conducting the examination, the Court shall not allow you to call any psychiatrist or other expert witness to provide evidence at your trial concerning your mental condition including, but not limited to, providing evidence on the issue of insanity or at any capital sentencing hearing..."
Essentially, if Holmes does not cooperate in his mental health evaluation, his attorneys would be prevented from calling mental health witnesses at his trial and at his sentencing, should have be found guilty. Holmes' attorneys had asked the judge for a definition of the word "cooperate." The judge refused, saying the word did not need extra clarification.
If the not guilty by reason of insanity plea is accepted, Samour has instructed the parties to be prepared to discuss a possible waiver of privilege about the notebook Holmes sent to his psychiatrist.
The Defense also filed 89 motions before their deadline at the close of business Monday. Those documents are expected to be released Tuesday.
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