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 Post subject: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:16 pm 
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Im curious as to what peoples’ thoughts are on the fact that Aurora movie theatre shooter James Holmes is going to trial to possibly be put to death for shooting people at the Batman showing in CO.

I know each state has all sorts of different rules for capital punishment if they have it but it seems like they will be going to court to see if he will be put to death.

I personally am anti-death penalty on all levels just on a moral basis, and im guessing many people here are too, but what really disturbs me is I thought it was fairly clear that he had some severe mental issues. I haven’t been following the case so sorry if im missing a big bit of info but to me it’s just all sorts of wrong if we start putting the mentally ill to death.

The other interesting thing I read on CNN.com somewhere is in CO the jury has to be “death qualified” (what an icky term!) meaning that they weed people off the jury who oppose the death penalty on the grounds of religious or moral beliefs. So at least if I ever move to CO I wont have to serve on a capital punishment jury! But at the same time isn’t that stacking the deck against the defendant?

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/03/opinion/ackers-holmes-death-penalty/index.html?hpt=us_mid

my one question is they talk about the high cost of capital punishment. That confuses me because im wondering is it cheaper to have someone stay in prison for the rest of their lives? That’s the one point I don’t understand.

I dunno, I don’t know all the stats and info on this subject I just know that the idea of the death penalty feels wrong in my gut and even worse when there is someone who im not sure was 100% cognizant of what they were doing.

Once again happy to be living in the liberal haven of MA!

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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:23 pm 
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Virginia loves the death penalty. Maybe not as much as Texas does, but close. It's so forked. It would be bad enough if it were "fairly" applied, but it isn't, which moves it way beyond even barbaric.

We should be better than this.

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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:31 pm 
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one of the biggest reasons I absolutely despise Mitt Romney is when he was governor of MA it felt like he was on some creepy quest to bring capital punishment to MA.

that might be blown out of proportion but that's what it felt like to me.

that article touches on the fact that there is a huge racial bias involved in capital punishment.

just. so. wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:38 pm 
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I believe the cost of capital punishment has to do with the lengthy appeals and therefore legal costs it incurs.

I hadn't thought of this in a while, brings back upsetting feelings. My old apartment was about 10-15 minutes away from the theatre. I was watching unfolding news in the wee hours that morning because I couldn't sleep that night for some reason and woke up at 4am and looked at Twitter. I did know a couple people who ALMOST went to that showing but then didn't.

I don't know that life in prison is much better than the death penalty anyway. It does frighten me how many people it seems are wrongfully convicted of things though.

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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:27 pm 
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I'm not for the death penalty either. I think killing someone for justice makes you, well not you personally, but like society or the people that decided the punishment I guess, just as bad the person who committed the crime.
On top of that it's the easy way out for the criminal. The victim, or victim's family have to deal with this for the rest of their lives.
And while in this case it seems to be pretty open and shut who did it, in many other cases it's not, and if an innocent person gets the death penalty, then we've killed an innocent person.

That "death qualified" jury thing is disturbing. It's like the trail is being rigged so that he gets the death penalty no matter what.


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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:20 pm 
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Not supporting the death penalty, and it is disturbing, but the "death qualified" thing is for this reason I think: if they pursue the death penalty, the jury will have to vote guilty (and therefore death) or not guilty (and release the accused). They can't vote guilty but for life in prison instead. So if a person is against death penalty on moral/religious grounds, they may be compelled to vote not guilty even if it is clear to them that the person is guilty, and the person could get off scott free.

That being said, I live in Colorado and I would not be able to serve on a death penalty case, I could not vote to put someone to death.

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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:53 pm 
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LisaPunk wrote:
it’s just all sorts of wrong if we start putting the mentally ill to death.

It's all sorts of wrong if we put ANYONE to death.

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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:05 pm 
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How all of this is playing out is just disturbing. I do not agree with the death penalty ever.


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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:21 pm 
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Yes, the DA wants to persue the death penalty, but first he has to prove that Holmes was sane at the time of the crime. I think he will lose on that and Holmes will end up with life in prison or in a locked ward (where he most likely belongs).


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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:29 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:47 pm 
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snugglebunny wrote:
Yes, the DA wants to persue the death penalty, but first he has to prove that Holmes was sane at the time of the crime. I think he will lose on that and Holmes will end up with life in prison or in a locked ward (where he most likely belongs).


Correct me if I'm wrong but from what I understand,the legal definition of insanity is that he can't understand the difference between right and wrong. Plenty of mentally ill and mentally disabled people meet this definition, and sadly get executed. But its sad for anyone to be executed.

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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:28 pm 
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I don't like calling him the Batman Shooter. He's James Holmes, he's really ill, he was in treatment nearish the time of the shooting. I don't see how he could be killed for what he did. He's really unwell. I think the prosecuting lawyer is posturing and it's clear that James Holmes is really sick. I'd bet 90% he's going to be incarcerated as a chronically mentally ill person.

The real question for me is how he got the ammunition. But then Fox News and the NRA get involved and then all I hear is nonsense blathering.


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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:24 am 
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I was talking about this with my husband. I am completely and totally against the death penalty. I don't think my husband is PRO death penalty but I think he is not against it in certain cases.

so I was saying how it's wrong because the dude is obviously mentally ill but my husband's point was that obviously anyone who walks into a movie theater and opens fire on a crowd of people is not totally mentally stable but the whole thing was super duper premeditated.
I mean didn't he have notebooks of drawings on what he was planning and sent something to the counselor at the school?
his whole apartment was booby trapped? and he had like stockpiles of ammo.......

I guess my husband's point was he didn't all of a sudden snap and just lose it and not know what he was doing at the time of the shooting, but I think my point is that he has been mentally ill all along.
Im not sure premeditating the crime makes you sane.
he seemed to be living in a very seriously delusional world.

it makes me sad because I feel like he could have been helped.

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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:07 am 
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jogirl wrote:
LisaPunk wrote:
it’s just all sorts of wrong if we start putting the mentally ill to death.

It's all sorts of wrong if we put ANYONE to death.


Yep, and I think that most (all?) people who commit murder (especially mass murders like these) must be mentally ill in some way, whether it's due to psychopathy or something else.


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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:25 am 
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Maryland no longer has the death penalty. I grew up in CA where the death penalty is alive and well. I think it is time to abolish it everywhere. It is too costly, we can't always guarantee the right person was convicted and I'm not sure we have the right. Our prison system is screwed up in general. I wouldn't expect this person to ever not be in prison as they are a danger and I think looking at the laws that allowed him to get the guns/ammo would be a better service than putting him to death.

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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:21 am 
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Ooof, so when I had jury duty I was originally interviewed for a capital murder trial.

The interview was painful. So much reaming because yeah, I couldn't morally vote for the death penalty. GAH. That interview was really aggressive. I'm glad I got kicked out, but damn. I felt so icky!

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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:22 am 
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That's what you get for shooting Batman.

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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:14 pm 
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Shy Mox wrote:
snugglebunny wrote:
Yes, the DA wants to persue the death penalty, but first he has to prove that Holmes was sane at the time of the crime. I think he will lose on that and Holmes will end up with life in prison or in a locked ward (where he most likely belongs).


Correct me if I'm wrong but from what I understand,the legal definition of insanity is that he can't understand the difference between right and wrong. Plenty of mentally ill and mentally disabled people meet this definition, and sadly get executed. But its sad for anyone to be executed.


Actually the legal definition is a bit more complex and it also depends on what state your trial is taking place. However, generally it is that a person suffers from a mental disorder or defect that does not allow them to either understand the difference between right and wrong or to conform to the law. Apparently, though, Colorado law has an interesting quirk. In most states the defense has the burden of proof that the defendant was insane at the time of the crime. In Colorado, however, the prosecution has the burden of proof and they have to prove that the defendant was sane at the time of the crime. They also have the option of Guilty but Mentally Ill, where you may be found guilty but also mentally ill, which will affect your sentencing. Here is a link to a blog from a lawyer that gives a good summery http://codefenselaw.com/blog/2012/09/01 ... -colorado/

Generally, though, it is very difficult to be found criminally insane unless you are psychotic. Other mental disorders, such as personality disorders or neurosis generally fail the legal test. And you have to usually be in an active psychotic break at the time the crime was committed, to even have a chance of winning. Despite what many people think, this is a very uncommon defense and rarely successful.

However, that being said, from what I know of this case; I think it will be successful this time he will be found Guilty but Insane and spend the rest of his life in prison or a locked ward. Where I think he belongs.


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 Post subject: Re: Batman shooter to possibly get death penalty
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:42 pm 
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I just get uncomfortable saying its extra wrong to kill someone because they're mentally ill. It adds to the stigma that the mentally ill are more likely to be violent, when really we're more likely to be victims of violence. And it doesn't address the social issues around mass killings; most of them are perpetrated by middle to upper class white men. If it was purely a mental health issue, you'd see more women and PoC committing such crimes, although when PoC are violent no one tries to protect them by saying they were mentally ill (this struck me especially with Dorner, a guy who would argue with me up and down that mentall illness causes ALL violence did not point out at all that Dorner may have had mental issues). There also isn't a whole lot of noise when black men with mental illnesses and mental disabilities are executed. Plus, for all we know Holmes was seeing a psychiatrist because of an insect phobia. Whatever was wrong with him, it didn't raise any red flags for her, which gives one pause since she was an anti-violence advocate.

Regardless, the death penalty is just wrong, even if he did this while the picture of mental health or illness.

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