James Holmes has decided to enter a not guilty plea by reason of insanity for the horrible massacre he caused at a Colorado movie theater last July. His lawyers said in a court filing they plan to formally ask for the change of plea at a May 13th hearing. A judge in the case had previously entered the standard “not guilty” plea for him, and if the judge accepts the new one, Holmes would be sent to the state mental hospital, where doctors would determine whether he was insane at the time of the shootings.
If the doctors do determine that Holmes was insane, a jury could still find him guilty. Colorado law defines insanity as the inability to distinguish right from wrong, caused by a diseased or defective mind. The law specifically excludes depravity, “moral obliquity” or passion caused by anger or hatred from being considered insanity.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
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