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The decision to use it has been very controversial

A Colorado judge will allow prosecutors to interrogate theater gunman James Holmes using truth serum if he pleads not guilty by reason of insanity.

Holmes is the suspected gunman involved in the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado last July. Holmes has been charged with multiple counts of murder for the open shooting, which killed 12 people and injured another 58.

Colorado Judge William Sylvester ruled that prosecutors have the choice to use truth serum on Holmes in a "narcoanalytic interview" to determine whether or not he was legally insane during the July 20 shooting last year. But this is only if Holmes pleads not guilty by reason of insanity.

A plea of not guilty had been entered for Holmes yesterday after his lawyer said that the defendant was not ready to enter his own plea. Holmes can later change it.


Legal experts have questioned Judge Sylvester's ruling, saying that taking away the fifth amendment rights of the defendant because of an authorization to use truth serum drugs will raise a lot of fifth amendment-related issues.

Also, a jury may object to the court forcing truth serum upon the defendant.

Medical experts have weighed in as well, saying that the defendant still has the ability to lie while using truth serum. They also said that truth serum would be effective at determining Holmes' current state of mind, but a short-acting barbiturate like truth serum would not indicate his state of mind during last year's shooting. It will only loosen him up to talk about it.

"First of all, people can still lie under the influence of amytal," said Dr. August Piper, a psychiatrist from Seattle. "More importantly, the person under the influence of the drug is susceptible to outside suggestion. To try and do this would be unlikely to yield useful information, and could pervert the course of justice by rendering the defendant susceptible to pressure."

It's unclear exactly which drug will be used, but experts predict short-acting sodium amytal.

Sources: NPR, CBS News



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RE: Can't accept this
By Florinator on 3/13/2013 3:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
You know that capital punishment is a lot more expensive than life in prison, right?


RE: Can't accept this
By Reclaimer77 on 3/13/2013 3:10:16 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You know that capital punishment is a lot more expensive than life in prison, right?


No, because it's simply not true. Just some BS a Liberal think-tank came up with long ago in California, that is now repeated as if fact for the whole country.


RE: Can't accept this
By Florinator on 3/13/2013 3:42:12 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe the findings of a think-tank from DC might have more weight with you...

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalt...


RE: Can't accept this
By Reclaimer77 on 3/13/2013 3:47:17 PM , Rating: 1
No doubt a site called "deathpenaltyinfo" is supremely unbiased...

I'm not entertaining such illogical fantasies. It's a matter of cosmic fact that it's easier to destroy than to create. Keeping someone alive is expensive, killing them and throwing the body away, is not.

Yes we've allowed politicians and Liberals to attach a ton of artificial costs and time-wasters to the process, to discourage capital punishment. Solution? Remove them. Problem solved.


RE: Can't accept this
By FaaR on 3/14/2013 7:39:59 AM , Rating: 2
Ah, so you dismiss the link without even having looked at it because of its NAME. That's...logical. *rolls eyes*

Anyhow, great idea that about just taking every convicted murderer out back after the trial's concluded and hanging them on the spot there by the way - because we know everyone convicted of a crime is actually guilty of it, yes?

No, actually not. It is a known fact that a significant percentage of death row inmates are actually innocent. But hell, you want to make omelette, you gotta break some eggs, right?

According to the ACLU (one of those libbrul organizations one can simply dismiss, because they don't favor instant hangings and whatnot), one death row inmate has been released after new evidence proved their innocense for every eight prisoners executed, and that was numbers from back in the early 2000:s, we can expect that ratio to be even more significant today as DNA matching tech has improved and become more commonplace. That's an awful lot of eggs broken just to make omelette, don't you think?

Or do you even think? It seems you are entirely ruled by gut reaction and rightwing propaganda.


RE: Can't accept this
By Adonlude on 3/14/2013 5:02:17 PM , Rating: 2
People who support capital punishment don't care if its cheaper or more expensive. Cost is just a liberal red hearring. There are some crimes that if you commit them society just doesn't need you around any more. I'ts the princple of this thing. You have to pay and society need to forget about you.

Im all for keeping the really crazy ones around for a little while incase the shrinks want to study them and think they can learn something. But when thats done they are still just old meat that need to be tossed away.


RE: Can't accept this
By Florinator on 3/14/2013 8:36:13 PM , Rating: 2
I just can't wrap my head around this. Capital punishment is barbaric... killing people is barbaric... You want to do to them the same thing that got them there in the first place. An eye for an eye, 'cause we all know that's a great philosophy. Saudi Arabia comes to mind, public beheadings...

The way you think, "old meat that needs to be tossed away" makes you just as sick in the head as the Aurora guy. After all, as someone already said on a post here, no one is innocent anyway, right? So it's not like he was killing innocent people... they had it coming anyway...


RE: Can't accept this
By M'n'M on 3/14/2013 10:02:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just can't wrap my head around this. Capital punishment is barbaric... killing people is barbaric... You want to do to them the same thing that got them there in the first place. An eye for an eye, 'cause we all know that's a great philosophy. Saudi Arabia comes to mind, public beheadings...

Hmmm, I don't know about "barbaric" or whether that's even important. What I do know is not all killings are the same. As I was trying to convey to Reclaimer "Motive matters", or if you will, context does. If you found someone hacking at your wife, daughter, whomever, with a meat cleaver would you hesitate to use any force, even deadly force, to stop them ? I suspect not. If that person dies as a result, I don't see any moral stigma attached to your actions (even if you still consider them barbaric).

When the State executes someone (ideally) it's not in the same context that the murder was. You may argue that it's unnecessary, perhaps that's true, but the point would be what is "just" punishment for the crime committed ? There is no logical answer to this question. There isn't some physical natural law that sets the standard. It's what you, I and everyone else decides is "just". We decide that some crimes are minor and others major and use some rationality to set the punishment proportionally. If murder is the worst crime, then the worst punishment would seem to be justified. Heck, we don't do the worst. You want barbaric, go back to what was done a some hundreds years ago. We don't draw and quarter people nor burn them at the stake.

As for SA, is the problem public executions or that the punishment is disproportional to the crime (by our standards) and the trial, and thus the guilt, very suspect ? If we are to execute people, then it should be public. Let's not hide form the people what's being done in their name and by their will.


RE: Can't accept this
By Florinator on 3/15/2013 11:43:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you found someone hacking at your wife, daughter, whomever, with a meat cleaver would you hesitate to use any force, even deadly force, to stop them ? I suspect not. If that person dies as a result, I don't see any moral stigma attached to your actions (even if you still consider them barbaric).


You are correct on both counts. I'm having quite a hard time dealing with the cognitive dissonance triggered by your example, but hey I never said it was an easy situation to deal with (hypothetically).


RE: Can't accept this
By Stuka on 3/13/2013 4:59:59 PM , Rating: 3
Putting someone to death costs almost nothing. Putting in legal hurdles to prevent the death penalty from being a viable option is what makes it cost a lot of money. It's because of the bleeding hearts which feel they couldn't possibly live with the crushing guilt that one out of one million people might actually be innocent even following a thorough trial in front of a jury of their peers.

I can live with the guilt.

We all have a covenant with each other in this society of ours. You violate another's rights, you lose yours. And it is society's obligation to eliminate you as a possible source of further disruption to the collective harmony.


RE: Can't accept this
By Florinator on 3/13/2013 5:06:59 PM , Rating: 3
It's ridiculous to say that it's ok to slip one innocent person among one million criminals. What if that one person were you?


RE: Can't accept this
By Reclaimer77 on 3/13/2013 5:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What if that one person were you?


I would say that's better odds than you would have being in that theater that night...

No man-made system can be perfect.


RE: Can't accept this
By Samus on 3/14/2013 12:15:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What if that one person were you?


It'd be incredibly selfish of me if I was one of a million people who was innocent, and the system were to collapse because of this.

Not to sound emo, but I'd just bite the bullet, kiss my family goodbye and know the society will have a lot of problems solved (especially monetary) by keeping the capital punishment system in place.

Yes, innocent people are executed. Yes, it could be me. But there are 7 billion people on this planet and we need to think about the big picture and not just some little numbers.


RE: Can't accept this
By FaaR on 3/14/2013 7:47:37 AM , Rating: 3
The US founding fathers would blanch at reading what you just spewed. It's not only diametrically opposed to all the values and ideals of the US constitution and bill of rights, it's also nothing but utter fascist crap. It's apologist claptrap of how the state should be allowed to execute innocent people just for the sake of upholding the system itself. How does that align with any view of what constitutes liberty and justice?

It's utter travesty, that's what it is.


RE: Can't accept this
By Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer on 3/14/2013 10:05:42 AM , Rating: 2
There is seriously something deeply, profoundly wrong with you. Even if your self-preservation instinct has been neutered enough that you'd say, "Hey, no biggie, I might be innocent but most people who get put to death aren't, so it's for the good of my country", I would venture to say that you speak for a very, very small percentage of human beings.

"Hey, I'm in the prime of my life, but sure, inject me with this lethal cocktail of drugs that might or might not be a painless way to die."

There are known cases where a person who was almost certainly wrongly convicted have been put to death. But hey, it's for the greater good, right?


RE: Can't accept this
By Adonlude on 3/14/2013 5:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
Correct.

People die in unfortuante tragedies all the time but we don't stop using cars or airplanes or stop giving cops guns. If there is an occasional tragety taking place in the jail system that is to be expected and is probably orders of magnuitude less common than all the other types of tragedies in our lives.

Some people need death and if you are too stupid to be that innocent guy standing over the body, holding the murder weapon, spraying your DNA all over the place, and talking yourself into handcuffs then maybe you need death too.


RE: Can't accept this
By SlyNine on 3/14/2013 1:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
How noble of you. It's easy to say this now, when you're not faced with such threat, I sure it'd be different if it were really happening, like a nightmare.

Besides what if it wasn't you, what if it was your mom or wife taking the fall for someone else just so a few guilty people don't slip through the cracks.

And where does the line get drawn, pretty soon we'll all be guilty until proven innocent. Than we should catch all the guilty people, how could a guilty person prove his/her innocence?

Please don't reply, just be honest with yourself.


RE: Can't accept this
By V-Money on 3/13/2013 5:23:51 PM , Rating: 3
Then him...or me...or you...or someone else innocent would be dead, but so would a million people who deserve it so who cares. It sucks but the chances of it happening are small. Besides, have you looked around our country lately, nobody is completely innocent and most likely if you end up in that position you did something else that would probably warrant it anyways. If not, then you have terrible luck and it is just your time to go.


RE: Can't accept this
By SlyNine on 3/14/2013 1:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, well that's not how this county was founded. This argument of, we're all guilty of something, is ridiculous. You're basically saying because I might have broke the speed limit its okay to charge me with murder. Because I'm not completely innocent.


RE: Can't accept this
By bsd228 on 3/14/2013 6:12:21 PM , Rating: 2
> It's ridiculous to say that it's ok to slip one innocent person among one million criminals. What if that one person were you?

The major fault in this question is that the ratio is a hell of a lot higher than 1 in a million. I'm fully in favor of the use of capital punishment where warranted, but I cannot dismiss out of hand the rate of wrongful executions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongful_execution#Un...
"Newly-available DNA evidence has allowed the exoneration and release of more than 15 death row inmates since 1992 in the United States,[4] but DNA evidence is available in only a fraction of capital cases." It goes on to note over 100 people in America have been exonerated after being placed on death row since 1976.

So to those who mocked your question - how many more than 15million people were sentenced to death since 1992? It would be surprising it it's less than 1 in 1000 that are falsely killed. And that's really a different game than "are you ok with 1 false killing in a million.'


RE: Can't accept this
By JPForums on 3/14/2013 3:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, that didn't take long to find the errors. Right at the top of the page:
quote:
$1.94 billion--Pre-Trial and Trial Costs $925 million--Automatic Appeals and State Habeas Corpus Petitions $775 million--Federal Habeas Corpus Appeals $1 billion--Costs of Incarceration
1) Pre-Trial and Trial costs are the same regardless of final sentence.

2) The writ of Habeas Corpus is not a right limited to death row prisoners.

3) Cost of incarceration (1/4 of the cost) is a lot lower for death penalty cases seeing as the cost is a fixed amount per year and they spend fewer years incarcerated. In fact, assuming all other costs are valid, the fact that incarceration is 1/4 the cost of the death penalty in California (according to your link) suggests that once someone is incarcerated 4 times longer than the person who got the death penalty, he has become more costly than the death row prisoner.

I apologize if I'm misunderstanding something, but the page you link seems to make things quite clear right up front.


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