Monday, April 27, 2015

Science or political gain in Aurora theater trial?

Photo in Aurora on Monday by Robert Weller
In a presentation that could have been a Power Point done in Hollywood, the prosecutor sought vengeance during the opening of the Aurora theater trial.
The defense countered with science, and the killer’s known history of insanity. Twenty psychiatrists who have seen James Holmes since he killed 12 people during the Batman movie and wounded dozens more have said he is a florid schizophrenic, the defense said. That means seriously delusional.
The prosecutor, who has been accused of refusing a guilty plea in order to promote himself for higher office, made several arguments that were patently absurd.
For example, the facts that the killer had developed an intricate plan and was of superior intelligence, meant he couldn’t be insane.
Numerous studies have found a link between genius and insanity.
“Most people inherit a version of a gene that optimizes their brain’s thinking circuitry, yet also appears to increase risk for schizophrenia, a severe mental illness marked by impaired thinking, scientists at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have discovered. The seeming paradox emerged from the first study to explore the effects of variation in the human gene for a brain master switch, DARPP-32,”
ScienceBlogs reported.
The prosecution misrepresented what a court-appointed psychiatrist had said. They said he had found the killer sane, but his finding referred to his condition after the shootings when he had undergone strong medications.
In fact, in an apparent second finding which cost him his consultancy, he came to a different conclusion about the killer’s mind when the shootings occurred July 20, 2012.
Prosecutor George Brauchler said that Dr. Jeffrey Metzner had found the killer was sane.
The Denver Post had previously reported: “The results of Metzner's exam, which was court-ordered, have not been released other than that Metzner found Holmes mentally competent enough currently to stand trial. Prosecutors are challenging Metzner's two other conclusions, one related to Holmes' sanity at the time of the shooting and one related to whether Holmes is mentally fit enough to be eligible for the death penalty.”
The defense questioned why jurors, the public and families of victims were being shown so many graphic photos of the attack. Holmes’ lawyers offered a guilty plea for a life sentence.
The prosecutor wants him executed. Even if he succeeds it likely will be a decade before that is accomplished, if ever.

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