James Holmes is on trial for his role in murdering people at a theater showing in the Denver area.
(There are dozens of related videos on Youtube, by the way -- put in 'James Holmes theater trial,' and you'll be inundated, including day-by-day recountings.)
The latest: pages from the notebook he mailed to one of his psychiatrists, just before he did it.
The irony: both the defense and the prosecution are pointing to notebook pages as proof that Holmes was insane or sane -- depending on who's arguing the point.
Holmes, of course, wants to be thought of as insane at the time of the shootings -- so he won't be held accountable for any of this. After all, he didn't know what he was doing. Right?
Unfortunately, some of those notebook pages show an incredible amount of planning, for someone who didn't have a clue...including calculating how long it would take for the cops to get there. (Holmes estimated 3 minutes.)
The very latest: Holmes told a court-appointed psychiatrist during a 2014 interview that he cries himself to sleep now, thinking about what he's done. When does he have the "regrets" he admits to? "Just before I go to sleep," he says in the interview.
I feel a little sick.
More why's come to mind about this whole sordid affair:
*Why in the world did it take so long for all this to come to trial?
Holmes admitted he did this horrendous act right away. (He might as well have -- too many people saw him, and the police arrested him at the scene.) His lawyers admitted it, too, though they were reluctant to post it at first.
*Why is the state of Colorado paying millions of dollars for this to drag on -- for Holmes' lawyers' work (yes, they're court-appointed), as well as the DA? Even the judge was sick of the delays.
In case you're wondering, the admittedly well-off parents are not funding Holmes' defense. Nope, he's an adult (26). He's independent. So who's paying all that money for lawyers, expert witnesses and other hoopla, for a crime that's already admitted?
*Why did his defense lawyers come up with a boxcar-load of motions and objections from the getgo, on how he wasn't going to get a fair trial, this or that evidence couldn't be presented, poor James, he was so badly treated, etc etc... Did they think this would endear him to either the jury, the judge...or the people of Colorado?
*Why is someone who was in one of the most difficult medical school programs out there -- by all accounts a brilliant man, raised in a well-educated family, with all sorts of opportunities -- now arguing that he's little short of a self-absorbed idiot? Granted, the pages in his notebook reveal a nasty tendency to focus on himself in nauseating detail, including monologues about his face, hair, nose and other body parts.
*Why are his parents now saying that their son is mentally ill (and they knew it all along, sort of) when they don't seem to have taken much action on his behalf before he stepping into that movie theater, and started shooting?
They are arguing that he could be kept in a good mental institution for the rest of his life, and that will take care of the problem. (They don't believe in capital punishment, anyway -- especially not for him. No matter what he did.)
One of the huge problems with this: Colorado is notable for letting people who use the insanity defense off easy. They're often let go after only a few years, allowed to take long 'vacations' and 'field trips' from the mental facility, that sort of thing. If you've felt outraged at John Hinckley's current 'treatment,' (here, too) you ain't seen nothing yet.
From the Denver Post article:
A Denver Post review found that three-fifths of 41 killers determined "not guilty by reason of insanity" over the past 25 years in Colorado have been moved from the mental hospital into halfway houses and homes across the state, sometimes as soon as three years after their commitments.
An insanity acquittal in Colorado, as in other states across the country, means that killers are not responsible for their acts and therefore are not punished. They are held indefinitely until they no longer suffer an abnormal mental condition that is likely to cause them to be dangerous to themselves or others.
Unlike in the prison system, the time patients spend at the state hospital has little to do with the crimes they commit. In some cases, those accused of relatively minor crimes spend more years locked up at the hospital than those who commit multiple murders.
Will this trial drag on for months? It seems inevitable.
Is it possible that James Holmes is smart enough to fake mental illness, because he knows what will happen if he doesn't?
Or is it that he knows what will happen (at least in Colorado) if he does?