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|Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:46 am
egal stall tactics.
by Peter Mertz
DENVER Wholesale Phil Jackson Jersey , United States, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Lawyers defending Colorado cinema shooter James Holmes filled the courtroom this week with mental health experts who said the mass murderer was psychotic, profoundly schizophrenic, and was not faking his bizarre behavior after the rampage.
Prosecutors attacked defense witnesses' credentials and test methods, and maintained their position that Holmes, charged with killing 12 and injuring some 70 others at a Denver area cinema in July 2012, knew what he was doing and was smart enough to alter test results to confuse doctors.
Holmes experienced a suicidal time three months after the massacre, when he did not eat, smashed his head against his concrete cell walls and floor, smeared feces on himself, and was briefly hospitalized, testimony revealed.
That ended when Holmes was prescribed powerful antipsychotic drugs.
The former neuroscience Ph.D. candidate is likely hear his verdict soon, as jury deliberations are expected to begin within 10 days.
It is highly possible that Holmes will be acquitted or convicted before the end of July.
The trial's final witness before a 3-day Independence Day holiday break was a university psychiatrist who endured a blistering cross-examination from Arapahoe District Attorney George Brauchler.
Dr. Robert Hanlon, a clinical neuropsychologist at Northwestern University's Medical Center in Chicago, testified that Holmes' unusual, significant decline in two IQ tests over a 20-month period may show that his level of psychosis was severe.
Most significantly, Hanlon rebutted several times suggestive questions from Brauchler and the jury about the possibility of Holmes answering questions inaccurately to alter his score and appear more mentally unsound.
Questioned by defense attorney Daniel King, Hanlon said Holmes "showed no evidence whatsoever of feigning, or faking, or malingering ..."
Brauchler said Hanlon was not a "medical" doctor, had not interviewed family members or others for more information, had not administered a test within the recognized timeframe of making it valid, and was a routine "expert witness" against the death penalty in other trials.
But Hanlon bolstered the prosecutions case by testifying Holmes had the intellectual ability to know right versus wrong and had the capacity "to have the intent to murder after deliberation and considerable planning."
If Holmes, who has pleaded "not guilty by reason of insanity", knew what he was doing was wrong, his mental state fits one key measurement of "legal sanity" that may result in his execution.
If found insane at the time of the shooting, Holmes will spend the rest of his life in a mental facility.
Hanlon also attributed Holmes' high IQ to being a voracious reader.
Sandra Paggen, nurse at the jail, testified Tuesday about taking Holmes to a hospital in October 2012 for a head injury, saying that his eyes were bloodshot and he had been crying extensively and he was lying in a bizarre, still, frozen position before he was taken to the hospital.
The cinema shooting is considered one of the worst mass murders in U.S. history and has brought to the fore questions about the efficacy of the death penalty.
In 1995, a Los Angeles jury took 10 hours to acquit football star O.J. Simpson of first-degree murder in the brutal slaying of his model wife Nichole -- against popular opinion -- because a defense team of highly paid lawyers created some doubt in the minds of the jury.
And in 1997, Timothy McVeigh was sentenced to death by lethal injection for killing 168 in an Oklahoma City bomb blast at a federal building. A jury took four days to convict him to death.
In the Holmes case, the key is whether Holmes was sane or insane when he walked through the exit door of the packed Century 6 multiplex theaters and ripped hundreds of bullets into the audience killing nine young adults, a teenager, and a 6-year-old girl.
The prosecution's 8-week case began in April with the accusation that Holmes was legally sane when he pulled the triggers of three guns at the cinema.
Even if convicted to die, it is unlikely Holmes will ever be executed. Colorado has five people on death row and has not executed anyone since 1967.
Eighteen of America's 50 states do not use the death penalty, and Colorado seems heading toward that growing fraternity, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
The last Colorado death penalty conviction was overturned by Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper last year from a 1996 conviction after years of appeals and legal stall tactics.
In 1993 Nathan Dunlap walked into a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant and brutally executed four people including three teenagers. He was convicted to die in 1996.
But the governor used an executive order to forever stop the execution, over objections from family members.
Across the country, executions are down from 71 a year between 1997 and 2005 to 44 a year to present, a Pew Research study in 2013 said.
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