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Print 89 comment(s) - last by Florinator.. on Mar 15 at 11:43 AM

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 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).


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