Why Insanity Defense Would be a Tough Sell in Colorado Movie Case


Whether James Holmes, the man accused of killing 12 and wounding 58 in Aurora, Co., will mount an insanity defense isn’t yet known. If he does, won’t be an easy sell, says NPR. As NPR reported on the man accused in the Tucson shooting rampage: ” ‘The defense now has to prove by clear and convincing evidence, which is an extremely high burden [ ] that the defendant did not understand the wrongfulness of his conduct,’ says Barry Boss, a former public defender.

Most states made their laws enough tighter than the feds, and Colorado is among them. Drexel University law Prof. Daniel Filler wrote in the Christian Science Monitor that, “The Colorado insanity defense clause has two requirements, he says. First, the defendant must have been suffering from a genuine mental illness at the time of the crime. ‘It cannot be something that was drug-induced.” Then, the defense must show that the accused didn’t know right from wrong.

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