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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 M'n'M on 3/14/2013 5:05:47 AM , Rating: 1
Nice trap you've constructed using the sympathetic grandma. If I stand my ground I'm a heartless bastard. If I give in, I'm a hypocrite.

Then be the heartless bastard you want to be. I have no problem with that. I am a heartless bastard. I admit that right up front. If Grandma was just a mean old bitch instead of being senile, who enjoyed seeing people suffer (Grandma Dearest ?) I'd have no problem sticking her with the needle. But that wasn't the point being made.

Sorry but this guy didn't have dementia to the point that he thought a house was a campfire or whatever. Come on this is ridiculous! The guy planned this with almost military-like precision, while ALSO leading a normal life. How can that be the actions of a clinically "insane" person?
You may end up being correct. This guy's sanity has yet to be determined. The point being is that there are insane people and they do "insane" things. Does Lanza's shoot 'em up in CT strike you as the work of someone who's in touch with reality ? I'm satisfied to wait for the arguments to be made (in both cases) and will withhold judgement until then.

You can feel good in that the insanity defense rarely works. Dahmer, whom I'm convinced had more than just a few screws loose (and a lifetime of more than bizarre actions to prove it) used that defense. The jury didn't buy it.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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