March 8, 2013 |
CENTENNIAL, Colo. - The judge in the Aurora movie theater massacre case has rejected a defense argument that Colorado laws on insanity pleas are unconstitutional, paving the way for a long-awaited arraignment next week. James E. Holmes, 25, was arrested without resistance minutes after a gunman opened fire July 20 in a packed theater during the showing of "The Dark Knight Rises. " Twelve people were killed and about 70 others were wounded in a crime that horrified the nation and has now become fodder in the debate over gun control.
March 8, 2013 |
CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The judge in the Aurora movie massacre case has rejected a defense argument that Colorado laws on insanity pleas are unconstitutional, clearing the way for the long-awaited arraignment of James E. Holmes next week. Holmes, 25, was arrested without resistance minutes after he allegedly opened fire July 20 inside a packed theater during the showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Twelve people were killed and 70 were wounded in a crime that horrified the nation and is now invoked by both sides in the ongoing gun control debate. Holmes has been held in isolation without bond and has not yet entered a plea.
March 2, 2013 |
The suspect in the Colorado theater shooting may plead not guilty by reason of insanity, according to court documents filed by his attorneys. The motions filed this week on behalf of James E. Holmes call into question the constitutionality of several aspects of the state's insanity defense laws for defendants, such as Holmes, who could face the death penalty. The 25-year-old former neuroscience student is accused of storming an Aurora theater on July 20 and opening fire on the crowd which had gathered to watch the new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.” Twelve people were killed and dozens of others were injured.
January 9, 2013 |
CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Prosecutors closed their circle of evidence against James E. Holmes on Wednesday, depicting him as a methodical and ruthless killer who plotted for months to attack as many people as possible in a packed suburban movie theater. "He didn't care who he killed or how many he killed. He wanted to kill them all," Assistant Dist. Atty. Karen Pearson said at the end of a preliminary hearing to determine whether there was enough evidence to try Holmes on 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and weapons charges in the rampage that killed 12 people and injured at least 70 others in Aurora, Colo.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 3, 2013 |
A woman accused of dropping her 7-month-old son from the fourth floor of a parking structure pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Wednesday in an Orange County courtroom, a prosecutor said. Sonia Hermosillo, who has been charged with child assault and murder in the 2011 death of her son, was evaluated by three doctors before a judge found her fit to stand trial last year. Her attorney, Jacqueline Goodman, has said that her client suffers from " postpartum psychosis . " Hermosillo drove to Children's Hospital of Orange County on Aug. 22, 2011, and parked her car on the fourth floor of a parking structure, according to prosecutors.
November 28, 2012
The Supreme Court refused this week to review the murder conviction of an Idaho man who was prevented by state law from offering an insanity defense. The court's abdication of its responsibility encourages other states to dismantle a central principle of Anglo-American law: that a defendant should not be held criminally responsible when mental illness makes it impossible for him to tell right from wrong. Contrary to what viewers of television courtroom dramas may believe, a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity is seldom asserted and usually unsuccessful.
November 26, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court has let stand the murder conviction of a paranoid and delusional Idaho man who was denied the opportunity to mount an insanity defense. Three justices dissented, arguing that the court should incorporate the long-standing insanity defense into the Constitution. Shortly after John Hinckley Jr. was acquitted of the attempted assassination of President Reagan by reason of insanity in 1982, Idaho and three other states abolished the insanity defense from their criminal laws.
October 3, 2012
Prison gang members are among the worst of the worst, felons who sometimes continue to kill from behind bars as they smuggle orders to other gang members on the outside. It makes sense to take special measures to protect society from such hard cases. But should that mean housing them in isolated conditions so inhumane that they can be driven insane? Amnesty International released a report last week on California prisons' isolation units for suspected gang members, calling conditions there "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, in violation of international law. " Suspected gang members are often placed in Security Housing Units, isolated cells in which they are confined with little or no human contact, released for only an hour and a half a day to exercise alone in a narrow yard.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 2012 |
Dr. Thomas Szasz, the New York psychiatrist whose Don Quixote-like attacks on the psychiatric profession in the 1960s and 1970s led him to a position of prominence and influence before his radical ideas fell into disrepute and he faded into obscurity, has died. He was 92. Szasz died Sept. 8 at his home in Manlius, N.Y., his family announced. He suffered from a spinal-compression fracture that resulted from a fall. He came to prominence with his 1961 book, "The Myth of Mental Illness," in which he argued that mental illness was not a disease but simply "problems in living.