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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: Or...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/13/2013 5:34:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Again, you're debating beyond the point


No I'm not. You just don't like it because I'm reminding you that this is real, not some theoretical debate.

And they call me a heartless bastard!? I'm glad you can separate this discussion from the carnage this man left behind, but right now I can't.

quote:
But that doesn't negate the merits of this legal principle, despite the fact that some lawyers may be abusing it...


Well I'm not sure where that leaves this conversation. Because obviously in this case, it's being abused. And I would support this legal principle being more...modernized shall we say, for future cases.


RE: Or...
By bsd228 on 3/14/2013 6:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
> And they call me a heartless bastard!? I'm glad you can separate this discussion from the carnage this man left behind, but right now I can't.

This is why we have a legal system - because people in general, and like you, cannot separate their emotions from reason. Mob justice is what would result if those people are the ones making the decision.

You're under the false idea that insane people cannot engage in complex thinking or planning. They can, and this entire situation points to a guy not operating with a full deck. This wasn't politically driven, like the Norway slaughter.

To be clear, even if his client was fully sane, I'd expect his defense to mount the insanity plea because otherwise he's certainly getting the death penalty.


"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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